By Olivia Yorks. Last updated 17th March 2021. Welcome to our industrial deafness compensation claim guide.
Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can be a serious problem for sufferers and their loved ones. The condition may be caused by excessive noise in a workplace, often over a prolonged period of time and where adequate measures weren’t taken to reduce the risk of deafness, hearing loss or tinnitus. NIHL is also known as industrial deafness and in this guide, we look at when it may be possible to claim compensation. We look at different causes of industrial deafness when an employer might be liable, and how much industrial deafness compensation could be paid in a successful claim against a responsible party.
If you have been thinking about filing an industrial deafness claim, Legal Helpline could support you. We provide free legal advice on what a claim’s process entails in a no-obligation assessment of your case. If we believe your claim has a chance of success, we would offer to introduce you to one of our panel of personal injury solicitors. Should they agree that your case is strong enough, they will typically agree to represent you on a No Win No Fee basis.
To get in touch and begin your claim today, please call us on 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, to find out more about claiming compensation for industrial deafness, please carry on reading this guide.
Jump To A Section
- A Guide On Claims For Industrial Deafness Compensation
- What Is Tinnitus, Hearing Loss Or Industrial Deafness?
- Possible Causes Of Industrial Deafness And Hearing Loss
- Workplaces Which Could Damage Your Hearing
- Noise Levels Which Could Cause Hearing Damage
- What Are The Symptoms Of Deafness And Hearing Loss?
- What Is Industrial Deafness?
- What Is Acoustic Shock?
- What Is Hearing Loss In The Military?
- What Is Tinnitus Due To Loud Noises?
- Industrial Deafness Claim Limitation Periods
- Calculating Industrial Deafness Compensation Claims
- Special Damages In Hearing Loss Claims
- How Our Team Could Assist You In Your Claim
- No Win No Fee Claims For Industrial Deafness Compensation
- Start A Claim Now
- Work Accident And Hearing Loss Resources
A Guide On Claims For Industrial Deafness Compensation
There are many types of jobs where working in a loud environment is unavoidable. However, according to Health and Safety legislation, employers must take steps to reduce any risks to their employee’s health and safety. Where an employer fails to do so, and an employee falls ill, or suffers an injury, a compensation claim for harm suffered might be possible.
This ndustrial deafness compensation claim guide concentrates on the suffering caused by noise-induced hearing loss or industrial deafness. We answer some common questions such as:
- Can you claim compensation for industrial deafness?
- How do I make an industrial deafness claim?
- How much can you claim for industrial deafness?
We look at specific jobs and industries which put you more at specific risk of suffering industrial deafness. We also provide information on when you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis. Finally, we explain the hearing loss claim time limit which could apply to your case, and the potential industrial deafness compensation amounts that might be paid out in a successful case against a responsible party.
To make a successful compensation claim, you’ll need to provide evidence of what happened, who could be to blame and how you suffered. The evidence you should provide includes:
- Medical records from the doctor/medical professional who diagnosed your condition
- Accident report forms – these should have been logged when you reported your concerns to your employer
- Any emails or letters you wrote to your employer raising concerns about working practices and noise levels in the workplace
- Witness statements from colleagues could help confirm your employer breached their duty of care towards you
What Is Tinnitus, Hearing Loss Or Industrial Deafness?
Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when somebody is exposed to excessive levels of noise over a long period. Industrial deafness refers to NIHL which occurs in the workplace. Technically, long exposure to sound over a certain level of decibels can cause damage to your hearing. A good indication that an environment is too loud, is when you need to shout to be heard by somebody who is standing about two metres away because of background noise.
When talking about workplace hearing loss compensation, it’s usually because the employer has done nothing to mitigate the high volume levels in a workplace. To meet their duty of care to protect staff, employers must do the following:
- Provide ear defenders to reduce the risk of harm to hearing
- Allow staff long enough breaks in quiet areas during a work period
- Rotate staff roles so they’re not in the noisy environment all of the time
- Invest in soundproofing technologies
If your employed failed to take steps to reduce the risks associated with high noise levels and you’ve been diagnosed with industrial deafness or tinnitus, you could be entitled to make an industrial deafness compensation claim.
Possible Causes Of Industrial Deafness And Hearing Loss
There are many different causes of industrial deafness which includes long periods of exposure to loud noises, and also exposure to loud bursts of sound like explosions. Some of these could result in an industrial deafness compensation claim being made as a result of the injuries sustained.
Looking at the food and drink industry, there are a number of processes, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), that could cause NIHL. These include:
- Machines that wrap and bag products
- Milling operations
- Bowl chopping equipment
- Blast freezers and chillers
- The noise associated with product impact on hoppers
- The noise of wheel bearings on trolleys
- Compressed air and pneumatic noises
This isn’t a full list of noises that could cause NIHL so if the noise that’s caused you to suffer isn’t listed above, you could still be entitled to make a claim for your suffering if it’s been caused as a result of your employer’s negligence. As such, please speak to one of our advisers today.
The Labour Force Survey reported that between 2017 and 2020, around 17,000 workers suffered work-related hearing problems in Britain. From 2010 to 2019, there were 1,125 new cases of occupational deafness. Interestingly, only 5 of these cases were female, reflecting the largely male-dominated industries that these injuries originated from.
There are some industries that have a higher risk of industrial deafness. Here are a few examples:
- Factories and warehouses
- Building and construction
- Quarrying and mining
- Nightclubs and bars
This list isn’t conclusive. An industrial deafness compensation claim for workers of any industry could be claimed, providing they can prove that damage was caused because their employer failed to take necessary steps to reduce risks.
Noise Levels Which Could Cause Hearing Damage
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, aims to protect employees where there’s a “risk to their health and safety arising from exposure to noise at work”.
According to the legislation, employers must:
- Assess the risk to staff health and provide required training and information if their daily or weekly average exposure to sound reaches 80 decibels
- Provide hearing protection as well as hearing protection zones if the average exposure reaches 85 decibels
Also, it is worth noting that staff are not allowed to be exposed to sound above 87 decibels even after safety measures have been set in place. If an employer fails to follow legal guidelines to prevent their employees from harm as much as they reasonably can, they could be entitled to make an industrial deafness compensation claim.
What Are The Symptoms Of Deafness And Hearing Loss?
Some of the most common symptoms associated with industrial deafness are:
- Sounds becoming distorted or muffled
- Being unable to hear speech (or understand it) from more than 3 feet away
- When you have to raise the volume of devices like a TV or radio to hear it as well as other people do
- When you can hear others but it’s difficult to understand/decipher what they’re saying
What Is Industrial Deafness?
As described briefly earlier, industrial deafness can be defined as noise-induced hearing loss caused by exposure to noise above certain levels when in the workplace. Industrial deafness tends to occur after long periods of exposure rather than shorter periods of time.
To learn about acoustic shock and how an industrial deafness compensation claim could be made for it, please continue reading.
Acoustic shock, or acoustic trauma, occurs when somebody is exposed to sudden and unexpected extremely loud or high-frequency noise. Examples include the following:
What Is Hearing Loss In The Military?
Noise-induced hearing loss can be a problem for anyone in the armed forces (air force, army and navy). The military has the same duty of care towards their employees as any other business. If they are negligent to this duty, those under their care could be able to make an industrial deafness compensation claim against them for any damage caused.
Therefore, even though the nature of the work involved is always going to be noisy for military staff, the Ministry of Defence should still take steps to reduce the risk of industrial deafness.
Some of the main causes of NIHL in the armed forces are:
- Engine noise
- Aircraft noise
- Explosions and pyrotechnics
- Artillery and gunfire
- Mortar explosions
The types of noise listed could occur during active duty or during training exercises. If you weren’t provided with adequate ear protection, it might be possible to claim compensation for any suffering caused, no matter where the incident/incidents occurred.
What Is Tinnitus Due To Loud Noises?
Tinnitus is when you can hear a noise that’s not caused by an external source. People who suffer from tinnitus often describe it as humming, ringing, buzzing, throbbing, hissing or whooshing sounds in their ears. It’s possible for tinnitus to occur in one ear or in both at the same time and the condition might be permanent or intermittent.
According to the NHS, you should see a GP if your tinnitus is regular, getting worse, or if it affects your sleep and/or your ability to concentrate.
Tinnitus is caused by damage to the inner part of the ear known as the cochlea. The cochlea uses thousands of cells to detect sound. When they become damaged, the body uses other parts of the body to detect sound which results in tinnitus.
If you’ve been diagnosed with tinnitus, and it can be proved that your condition was caused by excessive noise in the workplace, you might be entitled to claim compensation. If that’s the case, Legal Helpline could help you. For free advice on making an industrial deafness compensation claim for tinnitus, noise-induced hearing loss or industrial deafness, please contact an advisor today.
Industrial Deafness Claim Limitation Periods
When filing for compensation, you must start your claim within the personal injuries claims time limit. For normal claims, you have 3-years from the date of an accident.
However, the time limit is slightly different for industrial deafness claims because the condition can be caused by noise over a number of years. It may also be several years, or even decades before your deafness is officially diagnosed. If that’s the case, your 3-year time limit would begin from the date you received the industrial deafness diagnosis from your doctor or other medical professionals.
If you’re not sure when your claim time limit begins, please contact us as soon as possible. It’s important to leave your solicitor enough time to gather the required evidence to support your claim. Therefore, the sooner you contact us, the better.
Calculating Industrial Deafness Compensation Claims
Because every claim is different as each claimant suffers in different ways, estimating the level of industrial deafness compensation you could be awarded is challenging. Therefore, the best way to receive a personalised estimate is to speak to a member of our team.
With that said, we have provided a personal injury claims compensation table that provides compensation amounts based on the Judicial College Guidelines. This is a document produced by the courts, insurers and solicitors use to calculate compensation amounts for injuries sustained and which are awarded in general damages. If you’re wondering how much you could be entitled to as part of an industrial deafness compensation claim, this table could give you an idea.
|Partial Hearing Loss||£27,890 to £42,730||Severe tinntus as well as noise induced hearing loss.|
|Partial Hearing Loss||£13,970 to £27,890||This bracket covers moderate cases of tinnitus with noise induced hearing loss or moderate to severe tinnitus or noise induced hearing loss with no tinnitus.|
|Partial Hearing Loss||£11,820 to £13,970||Covers cases of mild tinnitus with some noise induced hearing loss.|
|Partial Hearing Loss||Around £11,000||Either mild tinnitus or mild noise induced hearing loss on their own.|
|Partial Hearing Loss||£6,910 to £11,820||Covers cases of sligh tinnituse with slight noise induced hearing loss.|
|Partial Hearing Loss||Up to £6,580||This bracket is for cases of slight noise induced hearing loss with no tinnitus or slight tinnitus with no noise induced hearing loss.|
There are a number of different examples of compensation for noised induced hearing loss and tinnitus in the table. Therefore, it’s important that your solicitor is able to prove the exact nature of your suffering to ensure you are awarded a fair level of compensation.
Our panel of solicitors uses independent doctors to assess the level of your deafness. They do this in a medical assessment which can be carried out locally. Once assessed, a report is prepared which explains what injuries you’ve suffered, how they’ve affected you, and how long the symptoms are likely to last. Your solicitor will then use the report, along with other evidence, to try and make sure the correct level of industrial deafness compensation is awarded.
Special Damages In Hearing Loss Claims
As previously mentioned, the amounts in the table above are awarded as general damages. This is compensation that’s awarded as part of your industrial deafness compensation claim or the suffering caused by your hearing loss. However, that’s just one part of the claim. Another part of personal injury compensation is special damages which cover any financial costs you’ve incurred as a result of the harm you suffered.
Some examples of special damages that could be claimed include:
- Medical Expenses
It’s possible that you might incur costs for prescription medicines and over the counter treatments before and after your hearing loss diagnosis. Therefore, it’s possible for these costs to be claimed back
- Travelling Costs
If you incur fuel or parking costs because of trips to see your GP, then you could include these costs in your claim
- Care Costs
In some cases, should you require support as a result of your hearing loss, you might be able to claim back any associated costs. You could claim back the cost of a professional carer. Also, if a friend or member of your family supported you, their time could be claimed for
- Lost Earnings
If you had to take time off work to visit your GP or because your symptoms meant you couldn’t work, then you could claim for any earnings that were lost as a result
- Future Loss Of Income
Finally, if your diagnosis of industrial deafness affected your future work prospects, you could claim for future lost earnings too. This is based on your salary level, age and job prospects
When claiming for special damages, you’ll need to prove the costs involved. Therefore, it’s essential that you keep wage slips, receipts and bank statements as these would be used as evidence to support your claim for special damages.
How Our Team Could Assist You In Your Claim
If you’ve found the information in our industrial deafness compensation claim guide useful and have decided to make a claim, we hope to be of assistance. Here are some reasons why we believe you should let Legal Helpline work with you:
- We have a team of friendly specialist advisers who offer free legal advice
- Your claim will be assessed on a no-obligation basis
- Our claims line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week
- Many of the solicitors on our panel have been helping claimants for nearly 30-years
- If your claim is accepted, you’ll receive regular updates from your solicitor
- Also, our panel of solicitors will always work hard to make sure you receive a full and fair settlement when you file an industrial deafness claim
No Win No Fee Claims For Industrial Deafness Compensation
We understand that many people worry about the cost of making an industrial deafness compensation claim. To reduce the financial risk, our panel of solicitors offer a No Win No Fee service for cases they take on.
To begin with, the solicitor will check that your case is strong enough to be won. If they agree to take on your claim, they’ll provide you with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to sign. This is the legal term used to describe No Win No Fee agreements.
Within the CFA you’ll find a lot of important information. In particular, there will be a statement to confirm that the solicitor’s fees only need to be paid if you receive compensation. Also, the CFA will explain what ‘success fee’ you’ll pay if the claim is won which are deducted before the industrial deafness compensation is sent to you.
Start A Claim Now
Thanks for taking the time to read our guide about claiming industrial deafness compensation. Hopefully, the guide has helped you decide whether to begin a claim or not. If you do, and you’d like Legal Helpline to assist you, then you can contact us by any of the following methods:
- Call a member of our team on 0161 696 9685 to discuss your personal injury claim
- Connect to a specialist adviser via our live chat option
- Or, finally, ask us to call you back by completing our online enquiry form
When you contact us to discuss your industrial deafness compensation claim, we’ll begin by finding out what happened. Then we’ll look at the evidence you have to support your claim. At this point, we’ll provide free advice on your options, and could introduce you to one of our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors who fully understand the industrial deafness claims procedure and will do their best to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation for your suffering.
Industrial deafness compensation claim FAQs
You’ve now reached the end of this guide about industrial deafness claims in the UK. If you’ve got any further questions or require more information, please get in touch. To assist you further, here are some more guides and some external resources too.
- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss – Information from the Health and Safety Executive about NIHL cases in the UK.
- Action On Hearing Loss – A charity that supports those with deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing Loss – An NHS guide on the diagnosis, symptoms and treatment of hearing loss.
- Accident At Work Claims – This guide shows you how a personal injury lawyer could help you claim for an injury sustained in an accident at work.
- Tinnitus Following A Car Accident – A guide which covers personal injury claims about car accidents that lead to tinnitus.
- Head Injury Claims – Information on when a personal injury solicitor could make a claim for a head injury on your behalf.
Thanks for reading our industrial deafness compensation claim guide.
Article by BH