Thirteen workers at a tyre manufacturer have each won compensation of up to £6,000 for damage suffered to their hearing as a result of noise in the workplace.
The former workers for Wolverhampton Goodyear were employed at the factory from the 1970s to the 1990s, during which time they were exposed to dangerously high levels of noise. However, they were not provided with hearing protection until the 1980s, even though the risks posed by workplace noise had been well known since the early 1960s and all employers were provided with guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the need to protect employees from damage to their hearing.
The workers have now developed varying degrees of tinnitus and deafness. Tinnitus is experienced as a high-pitched buzzing which can be extremely distressing in everyday life and can affect a person’s ability to sleep.
The workers brought claims for damages against their former employer, and have now won four-figure compensation settlements, with the exact amount depending on the severity of the damage to their hearing.
The law relating to workplace noise has been tightened over the years. Nowadays, employers have a clear duty to comply with the standards for control of exposure to noise laid down by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and to assess and control the risks of environmental noise that cannot be eliminated. Employees who are likely to be exposed to noise must be provided with information and training on the attendant risks and informed of the steps that can be taken to minimise them.
If you suffer from hearing damage because your employer has failed to take appropriate action, you may well be entitled to compensation. Contact a member of our team to discuss your claim.
Health and safety information on noise in the workplace is available from the HSE at http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/.