Suffering from deafness or hearing problems can severely impact your quality of life. Deafness and hearing problems occur gradually and the symptoms can take some time to develop so you may not realise you have been affected immediately.
Hearing problems may be caused or exacerbated loud noise in the workplace. Your employer has a duty to protect you from such risks to your hearing. The 2005 Noise at Work Act states that employers have a legal obligation to reduce or prevent health and safety risks in the workplace. When it comes to noise, they need to perform regular risk assessments and put into place control on the risk. Control might mean that they issue hearing protection, move noisy equipment or set maximum hours for people to be exposed to noise. As a result, if your hearing problems have been caused by your work environment, you may be able to make a compensation claim.
Common hearing problem indicatorsinclude:
- Often being accused of not listening
- Often saying pardon and asking people to repeat what they have said
- Difficulty following conversation in a group of people especially where there is background noise
- Having the television or radio on louder than is comfortable for other members of the family
- Finding loud sounds uncomfortable
- Difficulty hearing the telephone ring
- Noises in your ears such as a ringing or buzzing
Noise-induced hearing loss is a problem that threatens over a million people in the UK. Around 170,000 people are believed to have already developed hearing loss as a result of their work but there may be many more that do not realise their hearing has been damaged or have yet to be diagnosed.
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