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Former BT Employee Receives Compensation for Noise Induced Hearing Loss

A former BT employee has received £3,000 compensation for the hearing loss/tinnitus he suffered because of his work. 

What Happened?

Mr X, during the course of his 22 years of employment at BT, worked with ‘green set’ and ‘yellow set’ oscillators - devices that transmit a constant high-pitched sound through a headset, allowing the user to listen for changes in tone to track faults in the cables.

About 10 to 12 years ago, he began to experience tinnitus and hearing loss, and the condition has gradually worsened. He now has to turn the TV or radio up loudly to hear it, struggles to follow conversations (particularly if there’s a lot of background noise) and has to cope with a constant buzzing noise in both of his ears.

What Did Irwin Mitchell Find?

Sarah Tagg, a specialist industrial illness lawyer from Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office representing Mr X, said: “Around 200,000 people in the UK suffer from noise-induced hearing problems, including tinnitus, partial deafness and a complete loss of hearing.

“Every day at Irwin Mitchell we see work related hearing damage severely affecting people’s lives and businesses have a duty of care to do more to protect workers. In so many cases, people would not have suffered hearing damage had they have been given relatively inexpensive protection and equipment and we hope BT has learned from this particular case.

“Mr X was never warned or advised about the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss or provided with the appropriate protective equipment during the course of his employment at BT. He will need to start wearing a hearing aid in the next few years and will have to suffer with tinnitus for the rest of his life”.

What Was The Outcome?

BT admitted that the green sets and unmodified yellow sets oscillators have caused hearing loss and tinnitus to a large number of users, and has now replaced both oscillators with an adapted model.

Mr X also received £3000 in compensation, funds that we hope will help towards the cost of a hearing aid and improve the quality of his life.

Irwin Mitchell has now represented over 300 former engineers who have used the oscillators while working for BT and other communications companies.  If you have been affected by work-related hearing loss and would like to talk to us about making a claim, call us on 0370 1500 100 or contact us online.

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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