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Four Figure Compensation For Hearing Loss

Irwin Mitchell has successfully secured a four figure compensation claim for a client diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Mr Lowry aged 63 from Loughborough worked as a Bentley Cotton Knitting machine operator at Coats Viyella Ltd (formerly Mansfield Knitwear Ltd and Nottingham Manufacturing Ltd) between 1977 and 1999.

Mr Lowry used to load the yarn onto the knitting machines by hand, and once loaded would operate the knitting machines, which would automatically knit the yarn in the course of the production of clothing. However, the knitting machines produced high levels of noise and Mr Lowry was not provided with any hearing protection or training and was completely unaware about the possibility of his hearing being damaged by the loud noise.
Mr Lowry first noticed that he was having problems with his hearing in 2010 when he could not hear what his family and friends were saying during conversations, leading to him not being able to join in and feeling isolated. Having discussed his hearing problems with friends, he was advised that his hearing problems may have been caused by his exposure to loud industrial noise at work.

In September 2010 Mr Lowry underwent a full hearing test and it was confirmed by the audiologist that he was suffering from a noise induced work related hearing loss.

Mr Lowry’s award was secured by Industrial Disease specialist Reiss Matthews of the Workplace Illness team at the Birmingham office of national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

Commenting on the award Reiss Matthews said "Mr Lowry was a hard working employee who devoted a large part of his life working for Coats Viyella Ltd and their predecessors. Regrettably, he was not warned of the dangers of being exposed to excessive noise for an extended period of time, nor was he provided with any protection. Accepted knowledge of the risks to health associated with exposure to noise dates back to 1963. Despite this knowledge many employees continued to be negligently exposed to noise by their employer without hearing protection.”

Reiss continued that “This case highlights the importance of health and safety policies. Employers have a duty of care to their staff, and particularly when their work is carried out in a noisy environment the onus is on the employers to monitor the levels of noise so that all employees who may be exposed are given adequate protection and are subject to frequent health assessments. With proper precautions Mr Lowry’s condition could have been avoided."

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.

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