Alex Shorey, solicitor in the workplace illness team at Irwin Mitchell successfully secured a claim for a client diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), where he received £3,000 in compensation.
Mr M aged 52 from Stoke-on-Trent worked as a Kiln Worker at Myott Meakin in the early 1980s and later as a platter for both Staffordshire Tableware and Staffordshire Potteries (formerly Coloroll Ltd).
Mr M used to work on the gloss kilns which would be used to dry the pottery before it was set into shape. However the machine produced high levels of noise. This was also true of the work at Staffordshire Potteries/Staffordshire Tableware as the kilns emitted high levels of noise when drying the printed plates.
Mr M was not provided with any hearing protection. He had little training for the job and no information about the possibility of his hearing being damaged by the loud noise.
Mr M who has since undergone a full hearing test commented “my former employers provided no medical assessments to their employees and never even offered hearing protection. I first noticed a problem in late 2009 and for example would constantly be asking people to repeat themselves and I would not be able to hear the television without the volume being loud. I initially just put this down to the fact I was getting older.”
Mr M’s award was secured by Industrial Disease specialist Alex Shorey of the Workplace Illness team at the Birmingham office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell.
Commenting on the award Alex Shorey said "It is not uncommon for former pottery workers who have been exposed to excessive noise within the workplace to relate their hearing problems to the ageing process.
"However, such hearing loss will often have been caused by noise damage, with the condition being particularly prevalent in machinists/kiln workers who have worked in noisy factories and around noisy machinery for a lot of their working life without any adequate hearing protection.
"This case highlights the importance of health and safety policies. Employers have a duty of care to their staff, and particularly when their work is carried out in a noisy environment the onus is on the employers to monitor the levels of noise so that all employees who may be exposed are given adequate protection and are subject to frequent health assessments. With proper precautions Mr M’s condition could have been avoided."
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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