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Personal Injury – Do you Suffer from Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

Do you Suffer From Hearing Loss and Have a History of Working in a Noisy Environment?

Exposure to loud noise is the second biggest cause of hearing loss after age related hearing loss.

What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

Noise induced hearing loss, also known sometimes as industrial deafness, is caused by prolonged exposure to excessive levels of noise or extremely loud bursts of noise such as gunfire or explosions.

Symptoms & Effects

It can be difficult to notice NIHL as the effects of excessive noise grow gradually over time and are not immediately obvious. Often it is a partner, family member or a friend that draws your attention to the issue.

Symptoms include sounds being muffled, temporary hearing loss that disappears after a day or so, tinnitus which is a high pitch ringing, hissing or buzzing in your ears and needing the volume turned up on the TV or radio.

Common Causes

There are certain jobs that are more susceptible to exposing you to excessive noise including construction workers, factory workers, road workers, railway operatives, foundry workers, ship builders and engineers, this list is not exhaustive.

Employers Responsibilities

Under the Law, employers have an obligation to employees to supply adequate hearing protection if the noise at the work place is above a certain level. They should also provide training to show how to use protection properly, identify hearing protection zones and carry out regular health surveillance of their employees.

Time Limits

In England & Wales the law stipulates that a claim must be brought within 3 years of sustaining an injury and this also applies to NIHL cases. You do not have to have been diagnosed with NIHL for the clock to start ticking. The Court will take in to consideration your onset of symptoms and your dates of employment when deciding if you have brought your claim in time. As your onset of symptoms can be gradual the Court will also consider whether ‘a reasonable man’ in your position would have realised that they were suffering NIHL or at least investigated the symptoms.

Here to Help

If you have a history of employment that required you to work in excessive noise and have symptoms of hearing loss speak to our Industrial Disease Solicitor, Catherine Pinnegar today.

If you would like more information on Noise Induced Hearing Loss or any other Personal Injury Matters, speak to a member of our Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Team today:

Darren White – Partner / Solicitor / Head of Medical Negligence and Personal Injury Departments

Rebekah Baty – Litigation Executive

Catherine Pinnegar – Solicitor