Work Related Hearing Loss Claims

Many workers within the industrial sector are exposed to noises that can have a significant impact on their hearing. If employers have failed to provide adequate protection and safety equipment, they may be held liable for any work-related hearing loss suffered by their staff.

If you have suffered deafness as a result of the conditions in your workplace, you could be entitled to compensation - even if it is a workplace where excessive noise is expected. Contact YouClaim to discuss making a claim either by calling 0800 10 757 95, filling in the contact form on this page or using our online chat feature.

What is noise-induced hearing loss?

There are 3 types of hearing loss commonly associated with working in noisy industrial settings:

  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Asymmetrical

Temporary hearing loss is typically caused by exposure to loud sounds. This is known as noise-induced hearing loss and occurs when the inner ear is damaged. Sufferers experience muffled sound in one or both of their ears, and often report dizziness, pain or a ringing in their ears.

Permanent hearing loss is caused by repeated exposure to dangerous levels of sound. The nerves of the inner ear become very damaged, preventing them from sending signals to the brain.

Asymmetrical hearing loss is the loss of hearing in one ear. Unlike other types of hearing loss typically caused by long-term exposure to excessively loud work environments, the causes of asymmetrical deafness are more easily traceable to specific hazards. These include head trauma and loud explosions, meaning those who work in factories, warehouses, mines, chemical plants and in the construction industry are most likely to be at risk. 

Types of hearing loss

Employees who are overexposed to loud noises in the workplace without protection can suffer from a variety of injuries as a result. The solicitors at YouClaim have experience handling a wide range of these cases and have helped many workers who have complained of experiencing:

  • Industrial deafness
  • Tinnitus
  • Acoustic shock
  • Labyrinthitis

Professions linked to hearing loss

Armed Forces

Engineers

Engineers face a high risk of hearing loss as a result of the noisy equipment that they use, or are exposed to, on a daily basis. If employers do not provide you with hearing protection, they can be liable for any subsequent hearing loss. Types of engineering jobs that pose a risk to your hearing include fabricators, steel erectors and grinding engineers.

YouClaim has helped many previous claimants who have suffered from industrial deafness conditions, such as tinnitus, loss of hearing and acoustic shock.

Mechanics

Workers in garages could be putting their hearing at risk because they do not realise the likelihood of contracting work-related deafness or tinnitus. All garages and bodyshops generate a lot of noise due to the kind of tools being used, and although there has been some automation of tasks in recent years, much of the work has to be completed by hand, meaning the mechanic is in close proximity to noisy machinery.

Employers must do as much as they can to keep their workers from harm by providing protection equipment, such as ear protectors and earplugs. Not only must employers ensure that high quality equipment is provided, they should also make sure it is used correctly and that everyone is aware of the health and safety policies in place.

YouClaim’s solicitors have helped hundreds of victims of industrial deafness, so if you or someone you know has worked in a garage that has caused hearing damage, we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Shipyard Workers

Textile industry workers

The textile industry is recognised as a manufacturing sector where machinery can produce excessive noise levels. Certain processes, such as weaving and Worsted preparation using gilling machines, can reach or exceed 90 decibels.

Employers are responsible for providing safety equipment and training to all employees to reduce the risk of hearing loss. Failure to do so entitles you to make a claim for compensation. Our industrial solicitors are dedicated to addressing your civil right to compensation and will do all they can to ensure your employers are held accountable for negligent behaviour.

Other professions

Other affected professions can include:

  • call centre workers
  • dog handlers
  • hairdressers
  • nightclub workers
Even if your profession is not listed, contact us today to speak to an expert.

Employer’s duty

It is an employer’s responsibility to reduce the hazards of a loud working environment by providing every worker with protective gear, including ear plugs, ear defenders or ear muffs, to prevent extensive damage to hearing.

Employers are required to regularly measure noise levels and take necessary precautions to maintain a safe noise level for employees. A loud environment is considered to be a location in which you are unable to hear a person talking at a high volume from 1 metre away.

If your employers fail to offer you hearing protection or do not take suitable measures to reduce the dangers of noise, they could be held liable in an industrial hearing loss compensation case.

How noise levels are tested

Many people work in noisy environments, leaving them at risk of hearing problems. If you believe noise levels at your workplace are too high and you are worried that you may be at risk of damaging your hearing, the following spreadsheets from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can help you measure the noise levels you are exposed to:

Hearing regulations in the workplace

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 give several “action levels” that set out actions employers should take if noise in the workplace reaches a certain level.

The first action level applies to environments in which the daily average noise level is around 80 dB. If noise reaches this level, employers must educate their workers about the effects of noise and what can be done to protect them. They must also provide and maintain hearing protection for all the employers working in proximity to the source of the noise.

The second action level covers an average workplace noise of 85 dB or a peak of 137 dB. In this instance, the regulations state that employers must enforce the use of hearing protection, while hearing protection zones must be created and clearly marked to notify workers where ear protection should be worn.

The regulations also state that average noise levels must never exceed 87 dB, nor peak at 140 dB.

FAQs

Is there a time limit on my claim?

Generally speaking, those injured at work have up to 3 years to make a claim, but in cases of noise-induced deafness, this 3-year limit applies to the date of knowledge of your hearing loss. So, if you only discovered that you suffered from noise-induced hearing loss 30 years after leaving the workplace that caused it, for example, your time limit would then be 3 years from the date of discovery.

How much could I claim?

It’s difficult to say exactly how much you could claim without knowing the specifics of your case, but we have provided below some average estimates for the amount you could claim. Every case is completely different, so these amounts should be taken as a rough guide.

  • Total deafness: £50,000 to £60,000
  • Total hearing loss in 1 ear: £17,500 to £25,000
  • Severe tinnitus/hearing loss: £16,000 to £25,000
  • Moderate tinnitus/hearing loss: £8,000 to £16,000
  • Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss: £6,750 to £8,000
  • Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight hearing loss: £4,000 to £6,750

Can I claim benefits?

Some employees suffering hearing loss caused by noise in a workplace may be eligible for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. This benefit is available to people who have worked for more than a decade in a sector known to regularly cause hearing issues.

There is an eligibility time limit of 5 years from the time you stop working at the place that caused the deafness to the first time you make a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

A hearing test will be carried out in order to find out the level of damage that has been caused. Hearing loss caused by inner ear damage must be at least 50 dB HL in both ears and at least one ear must have sustained this damage as a result of your work.

For the latest entitlement amounts, please click here.

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is also available for a number of other illnesses. If you wish to find out what other injuries and illnesses are covered, your local social security office should be able to help.

Can I claim from a company that has ceased trading?

Yes you can - at YouClaim we have dealt with all kinds of claims against now defunct companies.

What can I do if my hearing becomes worse after making a claim?

In the event you suffer hearing loss while at work and receive compensation, only for your hearing to worsen over time, there are instances where it may be possible to receive additional compensation. They include:

  • Subsequent failures in the workplace making your hearing loss worse
  • A new hearing loss injury caused by noise in the workplace
  • Workplace conditions accelerating the predicted pattern of degeneration
  • Negligence from a solicitor who previously mishandled your claim

How YouClaim can help

If you are suffering from hearing loss as a result of negligence by your employer, they could be found liable and you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

The solicitors at YouClaim have years of experience in handling cases of this kind, helping many workers receive the compensation they deserve after their hearing has been affected while at work.

We are skilled at documenting and proving the causes of work-related deafness, and will work sensitively, thoroughly and quickly to secure compensation that we know can make a big difference to your life.

Read about how we have helped others affected by work-related hearing loss in our case studies below:

Get started today

If your or a family member’s hearing has been affected as a result of noise in the workplace, our solicitors are here to help. Start your claim today by simply calling 0800 10 757 95, speaking to us via our online chat feature or filling out the enquiry form on this page.

Case Studies