Settlement Secured For Bristol Machine Operator Suffering With Tinnitus And Hearing Loss

02.02.2015

A former machine operator who suffered hearing loss as a result of working in noisy conditions has urged employers to improve the protection offered to workers as he received an undisclosed settlement from his former company.

Zahoor Hussain, 62, from Stonebridge Park, Bristol, suffered permanent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus after being exposed to high levels of noise while operating heavy machinery, without the appropriate protective equipment. 

After experiencing a deterioration of his hearing for a number of years, Mr Hussain contacted workplace illness experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the working conditions he endured during his role as a machine operator at Silent Channel.

Together with his lawyers, Mr Hussain is using Tinnitus Awareness Week (2nd to 8th February) to urge all employers to improve the hearing protection they offer to people working in noisy environments.

Mr Hussain worked for the company at its Huntingdon premises between 1970 and 1973. He operated cutting machines to slice through rubber but says he was never provided with the appropriate ear protection. 

Irwin Mitchell has now secured him an undisclosed settlement from his former employers to cover his pain and suffering and contribute to the cost of hearing aids and devices he will need.

Sarah Tagg, a hearing loss legal specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Mr Hussain, said: “We have represented a number of people who worked in noisy environments without the equipment they required to protect their hearing from damage. 

“Hearing loss and tinnitus can have a massive impact on people’s lives and once the damage has been done it cannot be reversed. These innocent victims, who are now suffering as a result of failures of their former employers, deserve a fair settlement to help them move on with their lives. 

“Tinnitus Awareness Week is a timely reminder of the damage that can be caused to hearing through a lack of appropriate protection and it is vital that all employers undertake the necessary risk assessments and take steps to protect their workers from injuries such as this which can be wholly preventable.”

Mr Hussain, a father-of-six and grandfather-of-five, said: “I am delighted that my former employer has agreed to the terms of settlement and I can now move on. When I look back on my time there I can recall just how loud the working environment was and that my workmates and I had to shout to hear each other over the machines.

“Over the past few years my hearing has really deteriorated and I also experience tinnitus, which can be extremely frustrating for me and my family, as I suffer with buzzing and whistling noises and struggle to hear them.

“I regularly struggle to follow conversations if there is background noise and have to ask people to repeat themselves, which is very embarrassing at times and impacts the time I spend with my kids and their children.

“I hope that my case will remind employers of the serious risks workers are exposed to when the appropriate protective equipment is not provided to them. Hopefully, cases like mine will serve to prevent other people suffering with the same issues I am now having as a result of simply going to work every day.”

Tinnitus Awareness Week 2015 is organised by the British Tinnitus Association, More details can be found here.

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.