What is Industrial Deafness?
Industrial deafness is a job-related injury that involves loss of hearing. The range of deafness may be minimal, or it can result in complete deafness. The onset of symptoms may be sudden, or they may occur over time. It can be short-term injury, or it may also be permanent injury that is not reversible, and in some cases workers can claim for compensation.
What are the Causes?
The primary cause of industrial deafness is a prolonged exposure to noise. Industrial deafness cases that occur over time can occur in employees that work in high-noise areas such as construction sites, and warehouse type settings where loud noise may be confined and continual. The repeated sounds of a hammer gun nailing all day long is an example of a high-noise situation. Combine this with the closed-in environment of a building and the noise level is enough to cause hearing loss.
Some causes of industrial deafness can be sudden and singular. An explosion or loud bang, bell, or alarm can all be listed as an example of an incident that may be sudden and singular in nature. These types of incidents have symptoms that are noticed immediately. Ringing in the ears and loss of hearing are two symptoms that should not be ignored, and may be grounds for noise induced hearing loss claims.
Tinnitus: Tinnitus is defined at its most basic form as a ringing or buzzing in the ear when there are no external buzzing or ringing sounds. The sound is created without external factors. Tinnitus may involve one ear or both ears and may be permanent or temporary. Tinnitus is a symptom of an ear injury and not a disease, and is often the first sign that people have that they have hearing damage, which is usually what triggers people to contact industrial deafness solicitors to see if they can place a claim against their employer.
Can I Make a Claim?
Making an industrial deafness claim can be difficult. This is one of the primary reasons why a legal consultation should be the first step on determining if a claim can be made. Industrial injuries need to be substantiated by proof. Proof in these cases is subjective. There are examples of hard evidence such as maintenance records, photo and video evidence, etc. Evidence may also include witness statements, training records, medical reports, etc.
You can make a claim if someone had a responsibility for making sure you were not injured. This is sometimes called duty or care. The responsibility of duty or care is defined as a legal responsibility that binds an organization to do whatever is reasonably necessary to protect people from harm and injury. Proving responsibility is the same term as proving negligence. Can you prove that your injury was related to the negligent act of another person or organization? If you can answer yes to that question, then you may well be eligible for compensation.
Not all cases are clear. Talking with a legal representative about your specific case can help you a great deal. These professionals work with hearing loss cases and industrial injuries on a daily basis. They can help sort out a viable claim from a claim that is weak. They can also help point injured persons in the right direction by explaining evidence that may be specific to your case.
How Much Can One Get?
There are many factors that go into figuring out the exact amount of compensation a person can get. The range for compensation can be anywhere from ₤4000 -₤60,000. These figures are estimates based on past industrial deafness claims and compensation.
A more specific breakdown is as follows. The award of compensation for total deafness has historically ranged between ₤50,000 -₤60,000. If hear loss or deafness occurs only in one ear, then the range of compensation is usually between ₤17,500 – 25,000. Hearing loss cases that are diagnosed as severe tinnitus have a compensation range of ₤16,000 – ₤25,000.
A tinnitus diagnoses with moderate hearing loss have a compensation rate of ₤8,000 – ₤16,000. Mild tinnitus and hearing loss have historically been compensated between ₤6,500-₤8,000. Cases of industrial deafness that involve slight injury or hearing loss that is intermittent have historically been compensated between ₤4,000- ₤6,500. Again, these figures are estimates and many different factors go into figuring out an exact compensation amount.
How to Make a Claim
Workers who have experienced occupational hearing loss or believe that they may be able to make an industrial deafness claim should leave their contact information on the fill-in form that is usually provided on most law sites. Please fill out the form completely. Once the form is submitted, one of their professional industrial deafness solicitors will contact you to discuss your claim.
There is no fee for this consultation. In fact, many of the lawyers that work on industrial deafness claims do so without any upfront costs. Some lawyers work on a no-win-no-payment fee program.
In 2005, the government set into place a series of laws that are designed to protect workers from work-place injuries such as industrial deafness and tinnitus. These laws were designed to make it financially advantageous for employers to invest in work-place safety, protect workers and reduce work accident compensation claims.
If a worker has suffered an injury because an employer did not conform to the laws, than that worker may be entitled to industrial deafness compensation. The best method to determine if this may apply to your injury is to discuss the case with solicitors that have experience in workplace injuries and industrial deafness.