Archive for the ‘Industrial Disease’ Category

Foundry Worker Fettling Injury Claims: Hearing Loss Siderosis VWF

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Industrial injury solicitor explains how a metal foundry worker can claim compensation for injuries caused in the fettling process including: tinnitus, noise induced hearing loss, lung disease / Siderosis and vibration white finger

Foundry Worker Industrial Injury Victim

I worked in several metal foundries for 30 years as a fettler – working primarily with cast iron and aluminium (sometimes bronze and brass). The last foundry I worked in produced galvanised steel castings.

I worked initially in Newcastle and Sunderland and then moved to a foundry in Nottinghamshire.

During the foundry fettling process I would use various different tools and machines, including: disc grinders, air drills, hammers and chisels, files, linishing machines, knives and scrapers

The machines produced a lot of noise, vibration and gave off a lot of dust. In many of the foundries – breathing protection was not provided and extraction was poor. Rarely was any hearing protection provided.

I noticed a problem with my hands before I stopped work 10 years ago – they were painful in the cold and the tips turned white.

Over the last couple of years – I noticed a buzzing in my ears especially at night when it is quiet. I also was feeling short of breath.

I went to see my GP – 6 months ago with all the symptoms and he has sent me to see a number of specialists.

I was initially diagnosed with COPD for my breathing, but with further testing and scans I was told that I had an occupational lung disease, which the doctors called Siderosis.

My hearing was tested and I was told that I had significant hearing loss from noise. The buzzing in my ears was tinnitus.

Finally – I am waiting to see a vascular surgeon for my hands, but my GP suspects that I am likely to be suffering from VWF.

As my work as a fettler finished 10 years ago – is it too late to claim for my injuries?

I also suspect that the many of the foundries I worked for are no longer in business.

Industrial Injury Solicitor Response

The types of condition (industrial deafness, occupational lung disease and VWF) you have experienced are very typical for foundry workers during the fettling process using the tools you have described – most notably disc grinders, linishing machines and air drills.

The time period to issue a claim at court before it is too late is generally three years from the date of injury or knowledge of injury (the last date of knowledge being the date of diagnosis).

Looking at each condition in turn:

Industrial deafness / occupational noise induced hearing loss:

Exposure to excessive noise without hearing protection will progressively cause damage to your hearing. When you are younger and your hearing is stronger, so despite damage being caused you are unlikely to have appreciated any hearing loss symptoms.

As you become older, your hearing deteriorates with age and it is only when the combined effect of noise induced hearing loss and hearing loss from the ageing process is large enough that you will start to experience symptoms, which include tinnitus (a buzzing or ringing in the ears), struggling to hear conversation when there is back ground noise, etc.

Testing will include a hearing test by an audiologist – the results are plotted out onto a graph known as an audiogram, which is then interpreted by an ENT. An audiogram can distinguish between hearing loss from noise and from age / other causes.

Your date of knowledge can run from the date that you first sort assistance from your doctors for hearing problems – the latest date typically is the date of your hearing test.

Industrial lung disease:

Exposure to metal dusts can be very harmful to your lungs and depending on the dust you are exposed to will often define the condition you are diagnosed with. Siderosis is the damage caused by inhalation of iron dust. COPD is a much more generalised condition.

Lung damage can initially be asymptomatic (not producing symptoms) and it can often be years or even decades later before symptoms present themselves.

Date of knowledge for such conditions is typically date of diagnosis by a specialist.

Vibration White Finger:

This is a condition caused by damage to the blood vessels, nerves, muscles and joints from prolonged used of hand held vibrating equipment.

Symptoms of this condition typically commence at the time of exposure or within 1 year thereafter. Your date of knowledge of injury will depend on a number of factors, including when you first sort medical assistance and when you were diagnosed.

From your description – I believe that there is a good chance that you would still have a claim for industrial injury against your former employers. If the foundries are no longer in business – the insurer at the time could be traced to meet the liability of the foundries.

Making an industrial injury claim: industrial deafness, occupational lung disease and VWF

Industrial injury claims caused from working as a fettler can be quite complex, so I recommend that you act as quickly as possible.

Click metal foundry fettling injury claim to complete my online form or call me direct on the number shown next to my photograph to discuss your industrial injury claim in more detail.

United Utilities Water Plant Worker Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claim

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Noise induced hearing loss solicitor sets out how to claim compensation if you have worked for in water plants exposed to excessive noise from machinery such as emergency diesel generators, pneumatic drills, pumping station machinery and chlorination plant machinery

Industrial Deafness Victim Question

I worked in the water industry for 10 years in various sites across England working for United Utilities. I have worked in Cumbria, Manchester and Yorkshire.

I was exposed to extremely loud machinery noise day in day out without any form of hearing protection.

The machines I was exposed to, included: emergency diesel generators, pneumatic drills, pumping station machinery and chlorination plant machinery.

Last month my wife came home with the kids and was disturbed that the TV was so loud. To me it seemed a normal volume.

I had already noticed I was having difficulties hearing what was being said in social situations with back ground noise, such as in pubs or family gathering. I have often looked at my mobile phone to realise that I had missed several calls – despite having the ringer volume on maximum.

I decided to see my GP – who referred me to hospital to have my hearing tested. I was told that I had hearing loss in both ears and I was asked about my previous employment work environments and noise levels.

I was told that it was likely I was suffering from noise induced hearing loss and I have a further appointment arranged to discuss the need for hearing aids.

I am concerned as I am only in my late 30’s.

Can I make a claim from United Utilities despite the fact that I finished work over 3 years ago?

Noise induced Hearing Loss Solicitor Response

You are exhibiting typical symptoms of noise induced hearing loss. The hearing test produced by the hospital on your behalf is plotted out into a graph, which is known as an audiogram.

When you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss the audiogram has a very distinct shape showing a distinct step or drop in hearing levels at certain frequencies.

This hearing tested cannot be faked so is an accurate indicator of whether your hearing loss is due to noise or exclusively from the aging process.

You are quite young to be exhibiting symptoms of industrial deafness – this demonstrates that your hearing was badly damaged during your time working for United Utilities.

The fact that your noise exposure took place over three years ago will not debar a claim as you have three years from date of injury or knowledge of injury to make a claim. It seems that your knowledge only came just before you had your hearing tested and it is more likely that reasonable knowledge will be construed on the date you were given your hearing test results.

To show that United Utilities are responsible for paying you compensation for your injuries – it must be proved that the noise levels of the machinery you have listed (emergency diesel generators, pneumatic drills, pumping station machinery and chlorination plant machinery) was above safe levels known to cause injury at that time (the noise levels have dropped over time, but an employer can only be liable for the noise levels known to be a danger to hearing at the time you were in your employ).

It will also have to be shown that no hearing protection was provided (or the hearing protection provided was inadequate) and no warnings about the dangers of noise was given.

Finally a medically report from an independent consultant (here an Ear Nose and Throat consultant) would need to be produced analysing your audiogram to show the levels of hearing loss caused by noise – this will be used to determine the amount of compensation you can claim.

Free legal help and assistance

If you would like to discuss your hearing loss and noise exposure with me in person free of charge or to commence an online claim for industrial deafness click United Utilities water plant worker noise induced hearing loss claim.

Hearing Test Audiograms Prove Work Noise Claims: Industrial Deafness Ear Damage

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

UK industrial deafness solicitor sets out the importance of the results of a hearing test to prove you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss from exposure to excessive noise in the workplace

If you are considering a claim for noise induced hearing loss – you must remember that it is for the Claimant (you or your solicitor) to prove medical causation.

In other words – you must show that you are suffering from hearing loss, that hearing loss is noise induced hearing loss (not just aged related hearing loss) and that hearing loss has come from exposure to excessive noise at work.

How do medical experts determine if hearing loss is due to age or caused from exposure to noise at work?

The hearing test is a critical tool in proving the type of hearing loss you are suffering from.

A hearing test typically takes place in a sound proof booth. You will be asked to respond with an indicator when a noise is heard. The hearing test takes two parts – an air transmission and a bone conduction.

In the air transmission test – sound enters your ear in the normal way transmitted by air and past to your ear drum. In the bone conduction test – sound is introduced via the bone behind your ear.

The results of the hearing tests are plotted out for both ears on a graph. This graph and the hearing test results when plotted out are known as an audiogram.

If you are suffering from noise induced hearing loss – both of the graphs for air transmission and bone conduction should match and be of a distinctive shape. At certain frequencies there is a marked decrease in your hearing – the audiogram shows a distinct step and this demonstrates that hearing loss relates to noise and not just age.

This hearing test can also show the amount of hearing loss from age and the amount from noise.

Can hearing tests be faked?

A proper noise induced hearing loss audiogram cannot be faked by a client. If an attempt to exaggerate hearing loss is made by a client – the shape of the audiogram will demonstrate this and actually disprove a claim.

If you are taking a hearing test – listen carefully to the instrictions from the audiologist as to how to conduct the hearing test and stick to it meticulously and honestly. In this way – you will get the most accurate results and give yourself the best opportunity of proving noise induced hearing loss.

What should you do if you have been exposed to excessive noise in the workplace?

If you have been exposed to excessive noise in the workplace and are starting to notice problems with your hearing – you should go to your GP and explain your difficulties. Your GP should ask about your previous work environments and refer you to a specialist to have a hearing test.

As soon as you get your hearing test results you should contact a specialist solicitor to discuss. The clock is ticking to make a claim from the date of knowledge of injury and the results of a hearing test are practically the latest date for your reasonable knowledge. Working out the date of knowledge is a complicated procedure and will often pre-date  the hearing test so remember “time is of the essence”.

To make a claim or to discuss your hearing test with me in person click hearing test audiogram industrial deafness claim.