23 July 2015
What is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Can I Claim?
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise. The effects can build over time, which makes diagnosis difficult – especially in old age when many people’s hearing naturally diminishes.
NIHL can be caused by any prolonged exposure to loud noise, from repeated listening to overly loud headphones to loud work environments.
According to the last three Labour Force surveys an estimated 18,000 people currently suffer from noise-induced hearing loss caused or made worse by workplaces. When it comes to noise at work, employers are responsible for taking precautions to protect your hearing under ‘noise at work’ regulations.
This may sound like a greater challenge depending on the industry; workplaces that play loud music or involve noisy machinery could reach volume levels that are potentially detrimental to your hearing in the long run. If you are exposed to volumes that reach 80 decibels, your employer is legally obliged to take action.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Whereas natural hearing loss is more likely to affect people in older age, NIHL can affect you at any age. You therefore may not be on the lookout for the symptoms. If you suspect that you may be suffering the early signs of hearing loss, consider the following:
- Neighbours and people you live with complain about your television or music being too loud.
- You have trouble on the phone.
- You struggle to follow conversations particularly in the presence of background noise.
- You hear a ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in your ears.
Making a Hearing Loss Claim
Of all occupational diseases, 75% of civil claims involve industrial hearing loss. In order to make a successful hearing loss compensation claim, you must:
- Establish that you are suffering from industrial deafness and/or tinnitus, confirmed by a report from a medical expert.
- Show that the condition has been caused by your exposure to noise at work source.
- Show that your employer was negligent in protecting you from the noise.
Slater and Gordon Madelene Holdsworth said, “Deafness is a real problem. Thousands of people across the UK suffer with workplace deafness or tinnitus. If you have suffered damage to your hearing as a result of your work, you are entitled to compensation and you ought to seek legal advice as soon as possible.”
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are experts in cases of Industrial Deafness and deal with all types of industrial deafness claims including noise-induced hearing loss, Tinnitus and Acoustic Shock compensation.
Our specialist team of Occupational Deafness Solicitors can give you free initial advice to help you understand if you have an industrial deafness claim. We may also be able to help you bring a claim if your employer has gone out of business or claim against multiple employers.
If your hearing has been damaged by exposure to excessive noise at work, call our Personal Injury Solicitors for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or start a hearing loss claim online.