Maintenance operator awarded compensation for occupational deafness

Slater and Gordon helped a maintenance operator pursue a claim for occupational deafness and tinnitus against his former employer.

26 April 2023

man working in construction writing on pad

Our client

Martin* contacted Slater and Gordon through Unite the Union to pursue a claim for occupational deafness and tinnitus against his former employer.

The facts

Between 2001 and 2012, Martin worked for the Defendant as a maintenance operative based at the Defendant’s depot in Wallasey.

He carried out a range of cleaning and maintenance duties and exposed to noise from mechanical riggers, fitters and joiners.

He was also exposed to excessive levels of noise from diesel motors, pump rooms and blowing chambers. Martin operated tools such as drills, winches and electrical hoists for around 5 hours a day.

He was provided with hearing protection attached to a hard hat, but he was required to communicate with colleagues and was unable to do this while wearing hearing protection. At some locations hearing protection was not available and it was not enforced.

Martin started to notice that his hearing was deteriorating. He had to ask family members to repeat themselves and turn up the volume of the TV. He attended a hearing test and was advised to wear hearing aids. He found the hearing aids on the NHS unsuitable and went to purchase his own hearing aids privately.

How Slater and Gordon helped

Priyesh Mistry, our Associate in the occupational disease team, helped Martin secure a successful settlement.

Investigations took place by requesting Adam’s records, in particular audiograms from his Hospital. There were various audiograms; all of which showed signs of noise induced hearing loss. The pattern of hearing loss was consistent with frequency 4kHz affected the most.

The Defendant disputed Martin’s job title, but their witness confirmed that he did in fact work as a maintenance operative. Risk assessments were provided, but these were not relevant as they largely post-dated the period of employment.

There were errors in the document, such as wrongly identifying the first and section levels as 85dB(A) and 90dB(A) respectively. These points were raised with the Defendant. Martin had a witness who supported his account on the noise levels and provision of hearing protection. Martin was assessed by an ENT consultant, Mr Zeitoun.

The Defendant obtained their own audiogram, but we argued that it was not accurate given the extent of wax present, noted by the audiologist. Martin had a good argument that he should be awarded private digital hearing aids as the type available on the NHS were unsuitable.

Just before incurring costs in obtaining further expert evidence the Defendant put forward an offer to settle the case. Following negotiations the Defendant increased their offer and Martin accepted it. He was extremely pleased with the result and that his case had successfully concluded.

How can Slater and Gordon help you?

Priyesh has 10 years of experience in advising and running claims for occupational deafness. These cases are complex and require expert advice. Our experts work with clients every day who’ve suffered due to workplace incidents, and are experienced in investigating and securing compensation in complex claims such as these.

If your employer failed in its duty of care, and you’ve suffered as a result, you have the right to seek justice. Our team of highly experienced industrial disease lawyers can take you through the claims process on a No Win No Fee basis, which means there is no financial risk to making a claim. To speak to an expert today, call us on 0330 107 6482, or contact us online here.

*Our client’s name has been changed for anonymity

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