At the time of writing, industrial deafness awareness has been having a moment, as more and more people are recognising the signs and making the link between a loss and their existing or past work environment. There are many people in the UK that are suffering from some form of industrial deafness, which is also called occupational deafness and more commonly noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
You can also claim if you have tinnitus as a result of negligence. This could be in result of working in sectors such as manufacturing, construction, power stations and other roles that are exposed to long periods of loud noise levels.
You might be one of these people who have hearing problems due to excessive noise exposure in the workforce, and you might be looking at claiming compensation. In this article, I will briefly be talking about what the general process is for claiming and how such a claim is calculated. It is important to understand that I will be generalising here, but this content’s sole purpose is to give you a rough idea of the steps you will need to take in the UK.
Let’s start with the main areas of the industrial deafness claiming process. These are:
Industrial deafness can take years to develop symptoms after the initial damage is caused. In my experience, a number of patients have thought that their hearing loss was due to ageing instead of noise-induced damage from their line of work. You will need to arrange a hearing test with your local hearing healthcare provider to confirm your loss.
Once your hearing care professional has diagnosed industrial deafness due to work-related noise exposure, the next step is to indicate who is at fault and what caused the hearing loss. For instance, exactly why you were exposed to said noise for a long period of time. Examples of this could be poor or no ear protection or complete lack or limited training from your employer.
Then the final step is to indicate who is at fault in regard to hearing damage and, therefore, who is liable for the claim. At the end of the day, it’s all about proving and providing evidence of who caused the loss. For instance, are you able to provide solid evidence that your employer was negligent, as they by law have a duty of care? Your employer must do everything in their power to give their employees a safe working environment and that they are protected against harmful levels of noise.
If the employer fails to comply with legal duties and you can prove this is the case, then you can claim compensation for your industrial deafness.
Calculating your compensation, if you are successful and entitled to claim, is rather complex as there are many variants to consider. These are how severe your hearing loss is, whether it is permanent or not, whether it is in one ear or both and how long you worked or have worked in the damaging environment.
Other additional factors might be how the loss has affected your quality of life and mental health, your ability to work and whether financially it has made a negative impact in regard to seeking treatment. Each case is different and unique from the next and depends on your circumstance alone - however here are some estimates for your reference.
Mild hearing loss / inconsistent tinnitus: £5,000 - £10,000
Deafness in both ears and/or loss of speech: £75,000 +
Like I said earlier, we know that naturally your hearing worsens over time and that sometimes noise induced hearing loss is mistaken for age-related. However, there are a few distinct signs of noise induced hearing loss, such as:
Like with most forms of claims, there are law firms that specialise in industrial deafness compensation and some also work on a no win, no fee basis. It is always worth researching to find the right representative for your case.
Alternatively, you can also claim with the government and fill out a form for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for occupational deafness (IIDB), which also includes a step by step guide on how to process this online.
This form of hearing loss is permanent and the most popular form of treatment for this is digital hearing aids. There is a hearing solution available for all hearing loss levels. lifestyles and budgets on the market today.
We can put you in touch with your local audiologist who can support, monitor and take care of your hearing healthcare going forward. To find out more about how we can help you and your hearing or if you just need advice - call us free on 0800 567 7621
Read Next: Noise Induced Hearing Loss
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