Industrial Deafness is also known as Occupational Deafness or Noise Induced Hearing Loss. It is a condition that results in the loss of hearing – in many cases over a long period of time – which occurs as a consequence of a person’s working environment. There is a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused by noise in the workplace. Some types involve temporary loss of hearing, whereas in other cases the hearing loss can be permanent.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 is an act that has been put in place to protect workers from having to suffer from the effects of high noise levels. Naturally some workplaces are noisier than others, but it might surprise you that some of the quietest workplaces actually have the highest incidents of industrial deafness situations; call centres may seem quiet to a visitor, as the employees use headsets, but the damage can be done to a worker’s hearing by a fault in the headset which only the user would experience. At the other end of the scale a foundry might seem like a very noisy place indeed to work, but through the use of suitable personal protective equipment the risk of industrial deafness can be minimised.
Regardless of the place of work, or the nature of business being carried out, employers have a responsibility to minimise the risk of industrial deafness if there are consistent noise levels of 80db or above.
Types of industrial Deafness
Acoustic Shock is when an employee is suddenly subjected to a loud noise that can temporarily or permanently damage the hearing.
Tinnitus is when the victim hears noises created by their own body that are not audible to anyone else. This can be in the form of ringing, buzzing or humming in the ears
In many cases if the symptoms of industrial deafness are found early enough they can be treated by a qualified medical professional. Preventative measures within workplaces can also minimise risk of hearing damage for employees.
What if you suffer from industrial deafness?
If your hearing has been damaged by exposure to constant or occasional loud noises in your workplace you could be entitled to claim for compensation. Contact one of our solicitors today; they have years of experience in handling these types of cases, and will quickly be able to tell you if you have a claim, and if so, how much it could be worth.