Could Your Loss of Hearing Be Down To Your Employer?
- AuthorKay Ditcham
Given that the North East of England was traditionally an area of heavy industry, it is perhaps not surprising that Tilly Bailey & Irvine have acted for a large number of clients who have suffered damage to their hearing as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work.
Historically many local men worked in the shipyards, foundries and steelworks and the likes which were very noisy places to work. We have also acted for Claimants who have worked in textiles, printing and various types of factories. It is now accepted that telecommunications engineers, who had to wear headsets which emitted noise, have also had their hearing damaged.
In most cases it was not until around the 1980's or 1990's that adequate hearing protection was provided to workers and its use made compulsory in noisy areas. Therefore people who worked in noisy places prior to that may have suffered damage to their hearing. We have acted for hundreds of claimants who worked in heavy industry in the 1960's, 70s and 80s when they were not provided with hearing protection and now suffer from deafness as a result.
What is surprising is that we have seen cases where even in recent years people have been exposed to excessive noise at work. Despite the legislation in place and the knowledge that employers ought to have of the potential dangers of exposure to noise, there are some that have still not put measures in place to protect their workers.
Many of the people we have represented have not immediately appreciated the cause of their deteriorating hearing, frequently putting it down to the ageing process. Any delay in investigating a potential claim can cause problems as the defendants will often argue that the claim is statute barred (out of time). It is important therefore that anybody who has worked in noisy conditions, even if it were years ago, should make enquiries as to the possible causes of any hearing loss so as not to prejudice a potential claim.
Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm are specialists in this area and would invite any potential claimants to contact them for further advice.
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