Irwin Mitchell’s personal injury specialists helped a man after he suffered hearing loss at work.
Our client worked in a call centre and loved his job answering online and telephone queries. Prior to the incident, he was talking to a member of the technical help centre, obtaining details about a customer. He always wore his dual headset balanced on his right ear as he often needed to hear his colleagues. The technical help adviser was having problems with their phone so blew down the microphone in an attempt to clear the device out.
The sudden loud noise came as a surprise to our client who described the sound as high pitched and near constant, resembling a wind tunnel. He felt instant pain and suffered a devastating headache. The man’s hearing also became muffled, like his ear was full of water. He reported the incident immediately and his manager listened to the call.
Our client sustained an acoustic shock type of injury, with tenderness, swelling and pain in his right ear. He suffered right-sided hearing loss, hyperacusis (sensitivity of sound), nausea, vertigo and severe tinnitus. Our client is now reliant upon a hearing aid and had to have several months off work.
He tried to return to the call centre but kept having to have more time off due to multiple vertigo attacks which were stimulated by stress. Our client was no longer enjoying his job and had to have his role changed because specialists advised that he shouldn’t pursue work on the phones.
The man was later dismissed from his position due to ill health and has since struggled to obtain employment because his training and previous roles were in call centre work.
His injuries were a consequence of a defective headset which his employer provided him with. The call centre also failed to issue a safe system and safe place of work for our client.
We helped the man secure compensation for his pain, suffering and loss of earnings. We also assisted him with employment matters when he was dismissed from his job. The damages can also help our client with re-training in another profession.
Gemma Allsop, one of our legal experts, said: “Defective equipment in the workplace is a serious issue and in this case caused damage for our client.
“These symptoms should have been avoided and regrettably our client was left out of work.
“This case emphasises the need for employers to ensure the safety of their employees and necessity of routinely checking equipment.”
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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