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Our client was employed by Ashton Containers as an electrician at their site on Winterstoke Road in Bristol, between 1961 and 1989.
The company made packaging for the tobacco industry as an electrician and later as a foreman. It meant that our client worked on the factory floor all the time. He worked eight hour shifts and was exposed to noise created by the machines in the factory.
In recent years, he started to notice a decline in his hearing. His wife first noticed that he was missing parts of their conversations and he would struggle to hear things like the timer bell on the cooker. In February 2009, he had a hearing test that suggested his hearing had been damaged by noise in the workplace.
Investigating the claim proved difficult as by Ashton Containers had not kept many records and was arguing that the noise levels our client would have been exposed to were insufficient to require them to provide hearing protection throughout his employment. However, thankfully our client had retained some documents about his employment, including a copy of the company’s monthly magazine in which there was an article discussing noise levels on the Masson Corrugator machine, which he had identified as the main machine on the site and the primary source of loud noise. The article explained that the company had invested money in 1977 to erect screens around parts of the machine to reduce the noise levels.
They argued that in the absence of further documents available, this evidence strongly indicated that there was an issue with loud noise at the factory at least up to 1977. Although Ashton continued to make arguments about the noise levels and hearing protection, eventually they put forward an offer of a four figure sum which our client accepted.
Mark Lennon, a solicitor who specialises in claims for noise induced hearing loss at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, represented the client, and helped him receive a four figure settlement.
He said: "This was a very complex claim – the company history was complicated by a number of acquisitions and takeovers so it took some time to identify the correct insurers to investigate the claim.
"The company’s insurers fought hard to defend the claim but through persistence and with the very helpful assistance of our client, who had kept documents which supported his case, we were able to secure compensation on his behalf."
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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