Castings firm pays damages for 30 years exposure to noise08 June 2010
Damages after suffering occupational deafness
A GMB member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace for over 30 years has been compensated following help from Thompsons Solicitors.
Terence Haywood, 62, from Doncaster has received £13,000 in damages after suffering occupational deafness.
His hearing became damaged after working as a dye caster for Hallams Castings. He still works for the Doncaster based firm which makes aluminium castings for the electric motor industry.
During his time with the company since 1978 he has worked in a number of different departments but in all those roles there was excessive noise from machinery and in all those years, until 2007 he was never provided with hearing protection.
Diagnosed with deafness and tinnitus
He was only eventually given hearing protection when he advised the company that he had been diagnosed with deafness and tinnitus.
He suffers from constant ringing in his right ear and occasional tinnitus in his left ear and must wear a hearing aid.
After he was diagnosed by Goole Hospital he contacted his union, the GMB, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation.
Hallams Castings originally claimed the case was out of time but Thompsons was able to prove it was not. The personal injury law firm was also able to provide engineering evidence to prove the levels of noise Mr Haywood was exposed to.
Hallams Castings eventually settled the claim out of court.
Worked among noisy machinery every day
Mr Haywood said: “I have worked for Hallams Castings for more than 30 years and was never provided with ear plugs or hearing protection until I mentioned that I had been diagnosed with industrial deafness. During those years I worked among noisy machinery every day.
“I was shocked when I was diagnosed with deafness. I thought I was too young. I now have to wear a hearing aid and I find that I’m short tempered because my concentration has gone. I wish I had been more aware of the damage I was doing to my hearing all of those years.”
Andy Worth, Regional Secretary at the GMB said: “Industrial deafness is a common complaint among our members who have been negligently exposed to excessive levels of noise in the workplace by their employers. The health and safety law isn’t complicated - employers who have noisy machinery in the workplace should provide effective ear protection – that’s it.”
Carol Wild from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Mr Haywood’s employers fought us every step of the way in this case. They only backed down three days before the trial was due to start. Mr Haywood deserves to be compensated after suffering irreparable damage to his ears.”
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