Hearing loss is a condition which we will all deal with at some point in our lives. As with issues with our sight, it is more than likely to occur as we mature in age. However, those who have worked in certain industries may have to deal with this sooner than they think and not even realise it. Noise Induced Hearing Loss is a condition whereby exposure to high levels of noise can cause irreversible hearing damage. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) about 75% of all occupational disease civil claims relate to industrial hearing loss.
Noise induced hearing loss is, generally, the result of continuous exposure to high levels of noise in the work place. The more an individual is exposed to noise the higher the likelihood is that it will gradually cause damage to their hearing, however, depending on the level of noise even a very small period of exposure can be damaging. The easiest, and often cheapest, way an employer can protect their employees is by providing hearing protection, likely in the form of either ear plugs or ear defenders/muffs although there are other measures which could reduce the noise levels to which workers are exposed.
Although it is usually the case that the damage to your hearing ceases when the exposure to the noise ceases, many individuals do not notice the gradual deterioration in their hearing until the effects of age related hearing loss are suffered in addition. Kirstie Bork, a Solicitor-Advocate at EAD Solicitors LLP comments: “the most common explanation for individuals not making enquiries sooner when they noticed their hearing deteriorating is the fact that they just thought it was part of getting older. It is often only when those close to them start complaining about the TV being too loud or that they have to keep repeating themselves that they start giving it more thought”.
You have three years from the date of an accident or date of knowledge of a condition in which to bring a claim by issuing Court proceedings for personal injury matters and therefore it is very important to seek advice as soon as you notice your hearing loss or suspect that part of your hearing loss may be caused by exposure to noise.
Founded in 1974, EAD is known for its practical, no nonsense approach to industrial problems. It has a strong reputation for personal injury and employment litigation and has close links with the Trade Union movement across the North and beyond.
For more information, visit the Industrial Disease sections of EAD’s website at www.eadsolicitors.co.uk or call Kirstie on 0151 735 1000.