Maintenance Engineer Awarded Settlement After Suffering Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Irwin Mitchell Secures Settlement From British Coal


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A Keighley man who suffered noise-induced hearing loss as a result of working at a noisy colliery for eight years without the appropriate protection has received a settlement to cover the costs of the hearing equipment he will now require for the rest of his life.

Nigel Simpson, 51, has been fitted with a hearing aid in his left ear after his hearing deteriorated due to his exposure to excessive noise at British Coal’s Hatfield Main Colliery in Doncaster.

The father-of-three instructed specialist workplace illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his condition and expert medical evidence revealed that his hearing deteriorated as a result of the noise he was exposed to from conveyor belts, coal cutters, jigger picks, panzer chains, hydraulic chocks and vibrating and shaking jigs used to grade the coal.

He worked as a Maintenance Fitter and then transferred to the surface working on the Coal Preparation Plant at the facility, where he worked from 1980 to 1988.

Nigel, from Steeton in Keighley, also suffers with tinnitus, which means an intermittent buzzing occurs even when there is no obvious source of noise.

Irwin Mitchell has now secured him an undisclosed settlement from his former employers British Coal after the company admitted liability for his hearing loss.

Sarah Tagg, an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell representing him, said: “Noise-induced hearing loss is a very serious problem but unfortunately we regularly come across cases like Nigel’s, where employees were exposed to high levels of noise over long periods of time without the appropriate protection.

“Hearing loss can have a significant impact on victims’ day-to-day lives and it is vital those who work in close proximity to heavy machinery are provided with hearing protection to prevent the loss of their hearing.

“Nigel has now been fitted with a hearing aid and suffers with tinnitus. We are delighted to have been able to secure a settlement for Nigel which will ensure he can access the hearing devices he will need for the rest of his life.”

Nigel said: “Having poor hearing has really affected my day-to-day life. I’ve struggled to hear people in conversation for quite a while, but it has really deteriorated significantly in recent years.

“The fact that these problems have come about due to the noise at the colliery is very upsetting and I’m angry that more wasn’t done to warn us of the dangers of exposure to high levels of noise at work and that more wasn’t done to protect us.

“Safety standards have improved dramatically now, but for people of my generation, this came too late and I, and others like me, are suffering the consequences of poor safety standards.”