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A foam and feather furniture firm has been fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of a further £4,500 after failing to protect their workers from the excessive noise levels found in its factory.

Yorkshire furniture company Fibreline ltd; based in Keighley, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for breaching health and safety legislation regarding the protection of employees from excessive noise.

The court was told that the company had not made a suitable assessment of the noise levels in the factory between 2006 and 2013. Noise levels had become excessive in 2008 when a new machine was installed to the premises to add to the feather pillow production process. This additional machinery increased the noise levels in the factory to two or three times higher than the maximum allowed limit. Further additions to the equipment on the production line in 2011 increased the noise yet further.

The company should have known that its workforce was being subjected to loud noise and personal hearing protection should have been made compulsory when the changes were made, however hearing protection was not introduced until 2013.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Welsh said: “Prolonged exposure to excessive and often constant levels of noise where people work day after day is a recognised threat to health and can lead to noise-induced hearing loss – a condition that can be severely debilitating. It is very important for employers to do what is required to prevent employees from being exposed to potentially harmful noise levels.  If such exposure cannot be prevented, then they must ensure that workers are wearing the right kind of personal hearing protection and receive regular health checks.”

Has your hearing been affected by your work?

If you or someone you know has suffered deterioration in their hearing and you believe it was caused by employment, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Companies have a responsibility to protect workers’ hearing and there are is range of measures that can be suited to almost every employment situation. Our solicitors have years of experience in handling these types of cases and so are best placed to advise you on your best course of action. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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