Body shop worker with hearing loss caused by work receives compensation01 October 2012
Exposed to dangerous levels of noise
A GMB member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by his former employer has been compensated following help from Thompsons Solicitors.
David Neall, 61, from Broughton has received £10,000 in damages after developing occupational tinnitus and hearing loss.
Mr Neall’s hearing became damaged while working for JB Weightmans, a vehicle body builders in Scunthrope from 1966 to 2005.
His job included building platforms for trailers and the unsafe noise levels came from various tools being used. Hearing protection was provided in the 1980s but it wasn’t always available and use of it was not enforced until some years later.
Diagnosed with deafness and tinnitus
Mr Neall was diagnosed with deafness and tinnitus in both ears after going to his GP in March 2010. He had become concerned as he was no longer able to hear conversations and he had to have the television turned up loud.
He must now wear a hearing aid in his left ear.
After his diagnosis he contacted the GMB, which instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.
Weightmans’ insurers admitted liability and Thompsons secured a settlement out of court.
Employer failed to provide suitable hearing protection
Mr Neall, who now works for a different employer, said: “We were never warned about the dangers of noise at the time. We just got on with our work and took the loud noise as part of the job. We never imagined what damage we were doing to our hearing. Being hard of hearing really does affect everyday life and I wish more had been done by my employers to make sure I was protected.”
Andy Worth, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “Industrial deafness is a condition associated with heavy industry but it is nothing new. Mr Neall’s ex employers admitted they were at fault for failing to provide suitable hearing protection and to make sure it was used .”
Katrina Rowan from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Hearing problems are often put down to getting older and people don’t always associate it with the work they were doing decades earlier.
“The responsibility of employers to provide protection against avoidable dangers at work - including excessive noise levels – is well known and there is no way to get round that.”
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