Occupational deafness can be avoided if an employer complies with the law and takes adequate steps to protect his workforce from noise induced hearing loss by reducing noise levels and providing ear protection where necessary. Occupational deafness results from exposure to loud sounds for a significant period and may range from mild to profound and may also result in tinnitus which is a ringing of the ears. If an employee can show that his employer’s negligence has caused any degree of hearing loss then he can claim compensation the value of which depends on the extent of the problem. Whether or not the occupational deafness was caused as a result of noise at work can be positively established by the use of an Evoked Response Audiogram, the results of which cannot be falsified.
Employers must take adequate care of their employee’s health and safety by carrying out noise assessments and reducing the risk of noise damage to the lowest level reasonably practicable by muffling the noise or reducing exposure. Hearing protection should be provided on request and must be provided and worn in very noisy areas. Safety training should be given on the risks of Occupational deafness caused by damage to hearing from exposure to noise together with advice on how to reduce the risk.
An occupational deafness solicitor will claim compensation which includes ‘General Damages’ which represents compensation items that are difficult to calculate accurately and include ‘pain and suffering’ , loss of the enjoyment of life and disadvantage on the open labour market. In addition, an occupational deafness solicitor will claim ‘Special Damages’ which represents compensation for losses that can be accurately calculated and may include;
loss of earnings
hearing aids and equipment