What Occupations are able to make a claim?
Any job that involves exposure to loud noise. This can include labourers using drills to break up concrete and tarmac in the road, factory workers, and even call centre operatives where hearing can be damaged to the ear when sound is emitted through the earpiece.
Damage caused to hearing may not immediately be noticed and may worsen over a period of time and therefore it is recommended that when working in a noisy environment you regularly have your hearing tested so you can recognise any loss of hearing at an early stage.
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
The severity of Industrial Deafness / Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) can vary depending on the length and level of exposure suffered by the individual. Any occupation with exposure to loud noises on a continuous day-to-day basis can result in hearing loss due to nerve damage. Some people are more susceptible than others to hearing loss.