Factory worker compensated after developing noise induced deafness12 April 2013
Exposed to dangerous levels of noise
A Unite the Union member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by his employer for over 25 years has received compensation after help from Unite Legal Services.
His hearing became damaged while working for Brush Electrical Machines from 1986. The firm didn’t provide workers with hearing protection until 1995, and even then didn’t enforce wearing it. He is still with the generator manufacturer in Loughborough.
He has suffered from tinnitus for seven years but only became aware of his hearing problems when he was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears following a routine hearing test at work.
He must now wear hearing aids in both ears.
Instructed Thompsons Solicitors to claim compensation
After his diagnosis he contacted his trade union Unite and Unite Legal Services instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors to investigate a claim for compensation.
Brush Electrical Machines did not admit liability but settled the claim out of court.
The Unite member said: “I had suffered from tinnitus for a few years and it makes it difficult to fall asleep at night. I hadn’t made the connection between the tinnitus and my work until I was diagnosed with hearing loss. It was only when I was told that I was suffering from industrial deafness that I could see that I had been struggling to hear people in large groups and had been compensating for my poor hearing for a long time.”
Annmarie Kilcline from Unite the Union said: “Hearing loss affects many of our members working in noisy environments and we would urge any members who have been diagnosed with work related hearing problems to get in touch with us immediately.
“This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are at hand to act for members and their families.”
Carol Wild 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 employers need to make sure they are protecting their workers’ hearing.”
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