Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is also known as Industrial Deafness or Occupational Deafness which occurs as a result of exposure to noise over a prolonged period.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), more than one million people are exposed to potentially damaging noise levels in their workplace, many of which result in hearing loss or illness. Your employer has the legal responsibility to ensure that adequate health and safety measures are put in place to protect you from becoming injured or developing illnesses as a result of your working environment. If hearing protection is inadequate or has not been offered at all, resulting in your hearing being affected then you could claim compensation. We have successfully helped clients win compensation for their hearing loss, tinnitus and acoustic shock syndrome even if their employer is no longer in business.
- No Win, No Fee available for hearing loss compensation claims
- Dedicated and highly skilled Industrial Deafness Legal team
- All claims undertaken
- Free initial advice and free hearing tests
- High success rate for clients with maximum compensation
- National hearing loss claim coverage
Having problems hearing? Hearing loss or Tinnitus? Think your hearing loss might be work related?
Michael Lewin Solicitors have a friendly team of highly qualified legal professionals who will help you every step of the way with your hearing loss compensation claim. They will guide you through the claims process and be on hand for any queries you may have.
Remember that by law, employers have a responsibility for your health and safety (this includes your hearing).
Common symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Struggling to hear conversation when there is background noise
- Missing bits of conversation
- Constantly turning up the volume on the tv or radio
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Experiencing a whistling or ringing in your ears
- And many more symptoms …
Michael Lewin already represent many clients with various hearing problems, from a varied age range and varied working conditions:
- Engineering – engineering hearing loss
- Steel – industrial hearing loss
- Bar and Nightclub staff – noise induced hearing loss
- Construction – construction hearing loss
- Textiles/weaving – manufacturing hearing loss
- Military – armed forces hearing loss
We will take the time to listen, understand and advise on individual cases; we will help to build the very best case possible to ensure the maximum compensation is received for your loss of hearing.
People often think that when their past employer is no longer trading, that you cannot claim. This is incorrect. We will try our best to locate the insurance company who insured that firm during the time of your employment in order to bring a successful claim.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) – the legal bit!
In January 1990 the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 came into force, these were then followed by the more stringent Control of Noise Regulations 2005 (which came into force in the UK in April 2006).
If these regulations had been rigorously followed by employers then the instances of exposure to excessive levels of noise at work without adequate hearing protection should have dramatically reduced. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, and some employers have put their workers’ health at risk.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) – how we can help
We are experts at working to achieve the maximum compensation possible, and our promise to all clients is that we will aim to get the compensation they deserve as quickly as possible; and since we operate on a no win, no fee basis, there is no risk in making a hearing loss claim.
Giving Back To The Hearing Loss Community
From time to time we work closely with charities and communities including the British Tinnitus Association and help raise much needed funds.
Hearing Loss/NIHL Resources:
Case Studies From Recent Clients
The Claimant was 27 years old when he began his claim for Noise Induced hearing Loss. The Claimant was employed between 2007 and 2012 for a company who provided security, steward services and crowd management to festivals, concerns, arenas and nightclubs. The Claimant was employed providing stewarding services and front of stage security for a period before being employed as a supervisor.
The Claimant did face difficulties in that when originally employed he worked on a zero hours contract. A zero hours contract mean that the Claimant hours were not fixed and that we would have difficulty proving the number of hours employed. The Claimant however had kept hold of is rota enabling us to determine the approximate numbers of hours during various weeks of his employment. The Claimant was therefore exposed to excessive noise from the music being played at loud volumes for lengthy periods of time. The Claimant was further exposed to noise in and outside nightclubs and at festivals with loud hailers being used commonly to control crowds.
The Claimant alleged that he was provided with hearing protection on occasion in the form or ear plugs and ear defenders. The Claimant alleged that these were only available in limited circumstances and therefore the majority of the time he was left unprotected from the noise. The Claimant was also required to wear a radio headset to communicate with others which meant the Claimant did not wear hearing protection on that ear nor did the headset provide any protection.
The Claimant, due his relatively young age, displayed clear characterises for noise induced hearing loss in his hearing test and as a result the Claimant was diagnosed with a binaural noise induced hearing losses of 15.00dB and noise induced tinnitus. The Claimant was fortunate in that he was not required to issue Court proceedings and reached amicable settlement with the Defendant for £9,000.
The Claimant was 49 years old when he began his claim for Noise Induced Hearing Loss. The Claimant was employed by four potentially noisy employer’s between 1994 and 2013. The Claimant alleged employment at a construction company, steel factories and a paper processor. The Claimant attended a hearing test which showed typical signs on someone who suffered with hearing loss relating to noise.
The Claimant attended a medical expert who diagnosed the Claimant with 20dB Noise Induced Hearing Loss and moderate tinnitus. During the investigations of the Claimant claim is became clear that one of the employers could not be located on companies house and no insurance information could be located. Therefore the Claimant proceeded against the remaining parties. One potential Defendant, the paper processor provided noise surveys which clear showed that whilst the Claimant had been subjected to some noise during their employment hearing protection was available and the noise levels were insufficient to breach their duty at the time.
The Claimant was therefore left to proceed against a steel factory and constructions company. The construction company, owing only a limited liability in the matter, settled the claim for a global value of £9,000 before the Claimant issued court proceedings. The Claimant was left to pursue the matter against one final steel factory, the company was active and still registered in the UK.
The case proceeded through the Court with acoustic engineering evidence confirming the likely levels of noise the claimant would have been subjected to following a site survey which was attended by all the parties. The Trial was listed for 13 September 2016 with all parties prepared to attend trial. On 12 September 2016 the Defendant put forward a final offer of settlement which was accepted by the Claimant for the global value of £7,500.
The Claimant was 55 when he began his claim for Noise Induced Hearing Loss. The Claimant alleged employment between 1979 and 2006 with various foundries based in the West Midlands. The Claimant employment was not typical of those that we see at Michael Lewin Solicitors for foundry workers as the Claimant was employed as a trainee accountant, accountant/buyer and purchasing manager. The Claimant allegations were that whilst he accepts he would have spent some of his employment based in an office performing work expected of an account he was expected to attend the foundry shop floor in order to monitor the production line and improve efficiency.
The Claimant was further responsible for monitoring materials and ensuring the correct amount were ordered to meet the order being made to the foundries. The Claimant therefore alleges exposure to excessive noise on the foundry floor for anything between 2 and 4 hours per day. The Claimant alleged this excessive noise was caused by exposure to blast furnaces, holding furnaces, moulding line, vibratory units, shot blasters, grinders, core machines, air powered tools, hammering of steel, lathes and compressors. The Claimant alleged that no hearing protection was made available for a period of his employment and after that ear plugs were sporadically provided with them often being unavailable due to the dispenser running out and not being refilled.
The Claimant instructed Michael Lewin Solicitors who arranged an initial hearing test which showed typical features of someone who had been affected by excessive noise exposure. The Claimant attended a medical appointment where the expert diagnosed the Claimant with 18.6dB Noise Induced Hearing Loss and the Claimant did not suffer with any tinnitus symptoms. The expert did however detail that due to the Claimant hearing loss he had the need for hearing aids accelerated by up to 15 years. The expert was stating that the Claimant would have originally required aiding at the age of approximately 70 however due to the effects of noise he would benefit from hearing aids now. The Claimant was fortunate in that he was not required to issue court proceedings and therefore his case settled for £3,231.37.
Claim Compensation For Hearing Loss
You will have three years to make a claim for compensation from the date you were first aware of your hearing loss symptoms, or if you believe the issues came about at your previous working environment.
This does mean, however, you can start a claim many years after you stopped working at the company in question, as long as you did not notice the extent of your hearing problems until much later.
If you would like to make a claim against your current employer, any compensation would initially be paid by their insurer. For many years it’s been compulsory to have insurance, so it would be highly likely that they will have this scheme in place. Legal safeguarding is in place to make sure you are protected from unfair dismissal.
In simple terms this means your employer must be able to justify their decision for dismissing you in relation to your claim, which, in most cases is highly unlikely. If you would like the opportunity of discussing this subject in more detail, our expert industrial deafness solicitors will be able to help you by sitting down explaining your rights and what you can expect.
We have many years of personal injury experience, having successfully recovered millions of pounds in compensation for our clients.
We have helped a wide variety of people injured in many different areas of employment obtain as much money as possible for more than a decade.
This wealth of knowledge and experience combined with our unrivalled level of determination to get you what is rightfully yours sets us apart from the rest.
We offer the very highest standard of customer care, whilst being warm, friendly and courteous, and ensure that every step of the claim process is as clear and straightforward as possible.
Hearing Loss FAQ's
How Can I Prove My Hearing Loss Isn't Just Down To Age?
Collecting the evidence in proving your hearing loss symptoms were caused by a previous working environment may seem a little tricky. However, Michael Lewin Solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with these types of claims. We have recovered many pieces of evidence for clients enabling them to successfully claim compensation.
I Worked For My Employer 30 Years Ago I Don’t Think The Company Exists Anymore. Can I Still Claim?
Yes. We have resources that enable us to track down employer liability insurance policies for dissolved companies in the majority of cases.
Will I Have To Have A Medical Examination?
Yes. It is necessary to obtain a medical report so that your solicitor can place an accurate value on your injuries. Your medical appointment will be at a convenient time and place close to where you live.
Will I Have To Go To Court?
It is very unlikely that you will have to go to Court. Most cases are settled via telephone or written negotiation.
We will do everything we can to avoid unnecessary court appearances.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect?
As each individual case may differ, compensation calculations will vary depending on your individual circumstances and a number of different factors, including:
- Current and future loss of earnings if you’ve had to stop working in the short or long-term
- Your condition, and its severity
- Your pain and suffering
- Medical expenses you’ve had to pay, as well as travel expenses to any appointments
- Modifications to your home
- Your care and support needs – both now and in the future
- Mobility aids
Contact Us Today
If you think you might have a Industrial Deafness claim, but you’re not too sure, or just not sure what you should do next, then get in touch with us. We can help you make sense of the whole situation you are in and suggest the best way forward for you – free of charge.
Make a hearing loss compensation claim today!
Latest Blog Posts From The Team
Loud music and noise are seen as essential part of the events industry. This inevitably, will lead employees working within these sectors to be at a significant risk of developing permanent hearing problems. How are the employers within the Entertainment sector working to protect the health and safety of their employees?
Like depression and anxiety, tinnitus is an ‘invisible condition’; its affects being experienced subjectively, sometimes with vivid realism. And like depression and anxiety, talking about it can help and treatment is available.
Take a look and see how one of our Industrial Disease solicitors, Natasha, won an impossible case getting her case featured in PI magazine 'PI Focus'.
We’ve put together this helpful guide to enable you to understand terms solicitors may use in deafness matters.
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