Law Firm Irwin Mitchell Supports National Tinnitus Awareness Week

Specialist Lawyers Call For Better Protection From Excessive Noise For UK Workers

03.02.2014

Industrial illness experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell say employers must do more to protect their employees from suffering hearing damage at work, saying some workers are not given even the most basic protective equipment.

Ahead of National Tinnitus Awareness Week, which runs from 3rd-9th February 2014, expert lawyers have spoken out about the number of people who are suffering hearing damage as a result of their work and called for better protection for employees exposed to excessive noise.

The British Tinnitus Association says that around 10% of the population experience tinnitus frequently and approximately 5% of all adults in the UK experience persistent or troublesome tinnitus.

David Urpeth, National Head of the Workplace Injury and Illness team at Irwin Mitchell said: “More than six million people are thought to suffer from some form of tinnitus which can have a massive effect on people’s lives.

“On a daily basis, we meet people who have suffered work-related hearing damage by being exposed to excessive noise and employers must do more to protect their workers. In many cases that we have worked on, we have found that workers would not have suffered hearing damage and tinnitus if they had simply been given the correct ear protection and equipment.

“Employees have the right to expect to go to work and carry out their duties without any adverse effects on their health, and employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees. Unfortunately, we see the same problems in many cases which stems from a lack of basic health and safety protection.

“We hope that the support and awareness raised this week will showcase the importance of protecting workers and the unfortunate consequences that a lack of hearing protection can have.”

Tinnitus is a condition which leaves victims hearing noises in their ears or head when there is no external noise present. It is often described as a constant background noise such as ringing, whistling, hissing, buzzing or humming.

Victims often say it makes them feel embarrassed or uncomfortable as they can struggle to hear conversations and keep having to ask people to repeat themselves. It can also affect people’s concentration and their ability to sleep properly.

Tinnitus Awareness Week 2014 runs from 3rd-9th February and aims to raise awareness of the condition. Irwin Mitchell is getting involved in several events across the country to help provide those affected with support and advice. For more information about activities taking place, visit: www.tinnitus.org.uk/TAW2014