Throughout our daily lives we are exposed to noise. Hearing is one of our senses that guide us through the world, but excessive noise can cause long term, irreversible damage to our hearing.
Am I at risk of damaging my hearing?
Depending on the type of work you do, it is likely that you are putting your hearing at risk if any of the following situations seem familiar:
- You work with noise that is as loud as a busy street or a crowded restaurant
- You have to raise your voice to be heard if you are more than 2 metres from your colleague
- You use powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour per day
- You work in a noisy industry such as construction, mining, demolition, forging, woodworking or engineering
- You work with the noise of sudden impacts or explosive forces
- You have muffled hearing by the end of the working day
What are the early signs?
Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, and the amount of exposure to loud noise that you have suffered, symptoms may include:
- Difficulty in holding conversations due to limited hearing
- Difficulty using the telephone
- Trouble identifying particular sounds within conversation hence confusion of similar words
- Tinnitus: ringing in the ears, either permanently or intermittently
How to protect yourself
Your employer has a responsibility to minimise your exposure to loud noise and should provide you with a system of work that enables you to perform your duty safely. If you are provided with hearing protection you must ensure that you wear it properly and make sure it is in good condition. Similarly if your employer provides hearing checks you should make sure you attend – you too have a responsibility to yourself. If you have any concerns about noise in your work place, or issues with the protection supplied, you must discuss these with your employer so that they have the opportunity to remedy the situation.
What if your hearing is already damaged?
If your hearing has been damaged through excessive noise in your workplace you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our highly trained solicitors have many years of experience in handling cases of noise induced hearing loss, and will swiftly be able to tell you if you have a case, and if so, how much your claim could be worth. Contact us today to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.