Our personal injury lawyers helped an 80-year-old man claim compensation against two former employers for noise-induced hearing loss.
How It Happened
Chris* worked as a production worker at Brooke Bond & Co Ltd from about 1961 to 1967. Chris worked around large conveyor belts and packing machines which were very loud. These machines were used for packing teabags into boxes and making the lining for teabags.
The machines were so loud that Chris had to shout to his colleagues, even though they were only two meters away. The company didn’t give their employees any hearing protection while Chris worked there.
Around 1966 or 1967, Chris left Brooke Bond and started working at Dexion Ltd up until 1999. The company manufactured and produced steel warehouse racking. Chris worked as a production worker in a few of their different plants.
While he was there, he was exposed to loud noises from press machines, punch machines, rolling machines, cutting machines and also machinery on the packing line.
The company didn’t give employees hearing protection until the 1970s when they got earplugs. There was no training for staff on when they should use them and wearing them wasn’t compulsory so Chris only wore them occasionally. They were also very uncomfortable and didn’t fit well.
In the 1980s or 1990s the company introduced ear defenders. Although these were more comfortable, the company still didn’t force employees to wear them.
Years later, Chris’ family noticed his hearing was getting worse because he started watching TV with the volume on very loud. Chris thought his hearing loss was due to his old age so he had hearing aids fitted in 2012 which he paid for himself.
How We Helped
Not long after Chris got hearing aids, he saw an advert for making a noise induced hearing loss claim. This is when he made the connection between his hearing loss and his noisy work life.
Chris contacted our solicitors to see if he could make a claim against his employers. Chris’ hearing was becoming increasingly worse and he struggled to hear what people were saying to him.
Our solicitors, led by Emma Ferguson, investigated Chris’ employment at his two employers and helped him make a claim against both of them. We gathered evidence such as Chris’ medical records and employee records from both employers. We used this to support that Chris’ hearing loss wasn’t because of old age but because of working in an extremely loud environment.
One of the employers admitted responsibility early in the claim. The second employer admitted responsibility as the claim was set to go to court in May 2019.
We negotiated a four figure settlement for Chris from both the employer’s insurers. This amount could help him pay for his hearing aids and any future medical treatment he needed for his condition.
“We’re glad we could achieve a successful outcome for Chris. His hearing loss was a direct result from working in a noisy workplace without the proper protection. It’s really important for employers to make sure their employees are safe at all times.”
If you or a loved one is suffering from noise induced hearing loss, we could help. Contact us on 0370 1500 100 or fill out our online form and we’ll call you back.
*Not client’s real name
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