A man who suffered damage to his hearing as a result of exposure to excessive noise in the workplace has won compensation from his employer.

William Shipman, from West Yorkshire, had worked in a variety of jobs for a packaging company. During his employment, he was exposed to high levels of noise from the machinery used in the factory. This included machines for making corrugated cardboard and machines used for printing, slitting and stitching.

Mr Shipman’s hearing had gradually worsened over the years. He now finds it difficult to follow conversations held at a normal speaking level. He frequently has to ask for phrases to be repeated and has particular trouble when there is background noise. He also suffers from tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears that can be very damaging to a person’s quality of life.

A personal injury claim was brought against Mr Shipman’s former employer. Medical evidence of the damage to his hearing was presented in support of his claim and witness statements confirmed that the environment in the factory had been noisy. Initially, the packaging company expressed its intention to defend the case. It subsequently changed its mind, however, and made a compensation offer of £6,000, which Mr Shipman accepted.

Employers whose premises are noisy have a duty to provide adequate hearing protection for employees, as well as to monitor workplace noise levels. If you suffer from an occupational disease, such as hearing loss, as a result of a failure on the part of your employer to put in place the safety measures required by law, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Fiona Beynon to discuss your claim.

Health and safety information on noise in the workplace is available from the Health and Safety Executive at http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/.