Machine fitter compensated for loss of hearing30 January 2009
A Unite member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace has been compensated following help from Thompsons Solicitors.
The 50-year-old from Worksop has received £5,500 in damages after suffering occupational deafness.
His hearing became damaged when working for Dormer Tools, as a machine fitter for over 20 years.
The company made drills for a number of different industries and the client worked in both its Sheffield and Worksop premises.
The factory floor was a noisy environment but he was never given instruction or advice on the dangers of excessive noise.
Hearing damaged by Noise
He was advised to pursue compensation after being examined by an occupational health professional who told him his hearing had been damaged by noise.
He contacted his union, Unite, which instructed its lawyers Thompsons Solicitors.
Dormer Tools admitted liability and a settlement was agreed out of court.
The client said: “I worked in an environment which was constantly noisy. We were never warned that we might become deaf as a result of our work. I should not have been put in a situation where my health could suffer.
“I’m only 50 but already I find it difficult to hear when there is background noise. By claiming compensation I wanted to warn others to demand adequate protection for their ears when working in a noisy environment.”
Right to claim compensation
Adrian Axtell, Unite’s regional secretary for the East Midlands said: “Many of our members have been negligently exposed to excessive levels of noise in the workplace by their employers, particularly those working on the highways or in manufacturing. Sadly even with the knowledge and the safety equipment available it continues today.
“It is only right that those deafened through their employer’s negligence should be compensated for the long term damage to their hearing.”
Carol Wild from Thompsons Solicitors added: “Loss of hearing is often seen as a hazard of the job and many employees do not think of claiming compensation. However, employers have a duty of care to ensure their employees are safeguarded against all dangers at work - including excessive noise levels.
“Not providing adequate protection against excess noise is negligent and workers affected have a right to claim compensation.”
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