Maintenance Engineer Awarded Settlement After Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Specialist Workplace Illness Lawyers From Irwin Mitchell Secured Four-Figure Sum


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

A Knaresborough man who suffered noise-induced hearing loss as a result of working in a noisy environment for nine years has urged companies to ensure workers are provided with the necessary protection to prevent other people going through the same as he has.

John Penn, 73, has been fitted with hearing aids after his hearing deteriorated due to his exposure to excessive noise levels while working at Bowater Bulk Packaging’s Wetherby plant between 1985 and 1994.

He also suffers with tinnitus, which presents itself as an intermittent buzzing which occurs several times a week and can last for up to half an hour each time.

John instructed specialist workplace illness lawyers to investigate his condition and they discovered his hearing had deteriorated as a result of the noisy work environment at the company, where he maintained industrial looms and sewing machines.

The legal team has now secured him a four-figure settlement from his former employers as John was not provided with any ear protection during his employment and has suffered permanent hearing damage, which will be used to contribute to the cost of hearing aids he will need for the rest of his life.

Sarah Tagg, an industrial illness expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Noise-induced hearing loss is a very serious problem, particularly in the manufacturing industry, where heavy machinery is in operation.

“Unfortunately, in our work we come across many companies that fail to take the necessary precautions to ensure workers do not suffer hearing damage as a result of working closely with these machines. In John’s case he has now been fitted with hearing aids due to his difficulty hearing and we are delighted to have been able to secure him a settlement that will help him to access the devices he will need for the rest of his life.”

John, a father-of-two, said: “Having poor hearing has really affected my day-to-day life. For years I’ve struggled to follow conversations with family and friends, particularly when there is background noise and I have to have my TV turned up very loud.

“Now I have been fitted with hearing aids but I’m still struggling to get used to them and find them very uncomfortable. The fact that all of these problems have come about due to the noise in the factory is extremely upsetting and I can’t help but be angry that I was not given any sort of hearing protection. If I had I wouldn’t be suffering these problems so early in my life.

“The only thing I can hope is that cases like mine are a reminder to employers of the need to offer workers the safety equipment they need at work, particularly those who spend a lot of time in a noisy environment.”

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.