A Birmingham man has recently secured an award of £5,000 for the hearing loss he now suffers as a result of exposure to loud noise in his past employment.
Our client, who is now 61 years old, was employed by both GEC Foundries Limited and Hill Top Foundry Limited between 1976 and 200. Between 1976 to 1985 he worked for GEC Foundries Limited until the site where he worked was taken over by Hill Top Foundry. Our client always worked at the same premises throughout this time, which was the foundry located at Smith Road, Wednesbury, West Midlands. He was always employed in the 'No.3' Foundry, which was also known as the 'Shell' Foundry.
From 1976 to 1980 approximately, our client was employed as a general labourer, primarily as a shot blast labourer but he also spent time in other areas of the No.3 foundry; working on runner removal, knockout and core making. In around 1980, our client changed role to become a Dispatch operator.
Our client was continuously and excessively exposed to noise throughout his shift from the machinery in the foundry, including grinding equipment, overhead cranes and also from the clanging of the metal as it was placed into the bins.
Our client was never provided with hearing protection, or any training or guidance in relation to the dangers of noise.
In recent years, he began to experience symptoms of hearing loss but attributed those signs to his increasing age. He did not consider his symptoms to be significant or to attribute those symptoms to his work until he consulted his local community welfare centre in September 2009. At this time, it was suggested that his symptoms might be connected to his past work in the foundry.
Mark Lennon, a Solicitor in Irwin Mitchell's workplace injury team in Birmingham, who specialises in noise induced deafness cases, acted for our client and successfully secured a settlement on his behalf.
“This case was complicated by the fact that the company who first ran the site are no longer in business. However, we managed to trace the correct insurer at the time my client worked there, so we were able to start negotiating with the insurer and their solicitors. The insurers disclosed noise survey records that indicated that the noise levels at the foundry where my client worked were very high. On the strength of these documents we were able to demonstrate that the companies who ran the foundry should have issued hearing protection to its employees, including my client.
After some negotiations we secured a settlement of £5,000 which was a very good result for my client.”
If you or a loved one has suffered from hearing damage such as acoustic shock, tinnitus, and noise-induced hearing loss caused by conditions at work our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.
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