Grandfather-Of-Seven Speaks Of Devastation At Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Industrial Illness Experts Say Health And Safety Must Be Top Priority For Employers


A Barnsley pensioner who says being exposed to excessive noise up to 30 years ago is now coming back to haunt him as he is unable to hear his grandchildren when they chat to him has spoken of his devastation at how it is ruining his family life.

Former labourer and forklift driver Robert Scrivens has been told he needs to wear hearing aids years earlier than expected after being exposed to excessive noise with no protective equipment when he worked for Hepworth Pipe Co Ltd from 1983 to 1998.

The grandfather-of-seven, from Thurlstone, contacted industrial illness experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell who have secured him a four-figure settlement from his former employers for the hearing loss he suffered through no fault of his own.

Robert worked in the production area at the factory, which was later known as Hepworth Building Products Ltd, and was exposed to high levels of noise from kilns, fans, electric saws and other machinery.

Now Robert, who also has three grownup children, has to lip read when his family talk to him, misses hearing his grandchildren play and has to have the television turned up very loud to hear it.

Sarah Tagg, an industrial deafness expert at Irwin Mitchell who helped the 74-year-old in his battle for justice, said: “Robert was not provided with ear protection throughout all of his working life. This means that, through no fault of his own, he’s been left with partial deafness which will affect his day-to-day routine and family life forever.

“Employees’ health and safety must be a top priority. Companies must ensure that noise exposure in workplaces is kept to a minimum and, crucially, to ensure ear protection is provided for employers for the duration of their careers.”

Robert said: “It’s so frustrating to think that steps could have been taken to protect me so that I wouldn’t have to suffer with hearing loss for the rest of my life.

“I started struggling with hearing loss four of five years ago but I put this down to getting older.  I went for a hearing test in March 2010 and was advised I might have noise induced hearing loss which was confirmed by a specialist consultant in October 2011.

“I now have to have the TV turned up louder and ask people to repeat themselves in conversation which is very irritating. I feel like I’m missing out in family conversations, particularly with my grandchildren who love to chatter.

“I would advise any employers to ensure they give their workers the right protection as I know first-hand the effects of loud noise while working are devastating.”

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.