Scaffolding Hearing Loss Claim: How to claim compensation for hearing damage & tinnitus
Scaffolding hearing loss claim: Solicitor explains how to claim compensation for hearing problems caused from the excessive sound of metal from working with scaffolding.
Scaffolding Hearing Loss Claim Question
I worked as a scaffolder for 20 years finishing in 2005. I was exposed to very loud noise, including banging all day and trucks dropping scaffolding tubes loads into stillages made of metal (tremendous noise), forklift truck noise, etc.
At the end of the week my ears were buzzing – but by the next working week they had returned to normal.
I complained to my boss and requested hearing protection, but I was told I could not have any and if I did not like it I could find another job.
It was no noisy at the site there were lots of complaints from neighbours about the noise levels.
This last year my wife has accused me of ignoring her when she speaks to me and she complains about the TV being on too loud. I have also noticed a continuous ringing sound in my ears especially at night, I feel disorientated in places with background noise and I miss the phone ringing.
We started to realise that I have hearing problem so last month I went to Specsavers and was told I need hearing aids.
The audiologist pulled me aside and told me that the hearing test results show that I have hearing loss from noise and the ringing sound is something called tinnitus.
Can I claim from my former employer for scaffolding hearing loss claim?
Noise Induced Hearing Loss Solicitor Response
1. Your employer exposed you to excessive noise over the safe limits known to be dangerous at the time of exposure
From your description it is likely the noise levels will be shown to be excessive. The buzzing sound that you had at the end of the week is a very typical phase shift response to excessive noise especially the noise from trucks dropping the scaffolding into the metal stillages.
The symptoms you have described (including the tinnitus) are very typical for hearing damage.
As a rule of thumb it can be established by the shout test – if the noise is too loud to hear what a colleague is saying such that he has to shout when he is right next to you, this will often be indicative of excessive noise.
You are also exhibiting very typical symptoms of noise induced hearing loss and the Specsavers audiologist has confirmed the hearing loss from noise to you.
The audiologist could do this as the hearing test results are plotted out into a graph known as an audiogram. If noise induce hearing loss is present the audiogram has an unmistakable shape with a significant drop or step at certain frequencies.
The hearing test is impossible to fake And any attempt to do so will likely lead to a distorted shape not supportive of a claim.
2. Adequate hearing protection was not provided
If it is accepted that the noise levels are excessive – an employer can still escape liability if it can be shown that adequate hearing protection, such as ear defenders, were provided.
You have indicated that no hearing protection was provided and when requested your employer was clear that it would not be provided (you would be at risk of losing your job should you make a further request).
3. Injury or knowledge of injury was less than 3 years ago
Generally, industrial deafness claims must be commenced at court within 3 years of date of injury or knowledge of injury. If you experienced an accident (such as being hit by a forklift truck) date of injury and knowledge of injury are on the same day, but with hearing loss claims – knowledge of injury will often be later than the date of noise exposure.
The latest date of knowledge the could be argued by your solicitor would be the date of diagnosis of hearing loss.
Be careful – it could be construed as earlier than the date of diagnosis. Your employer’s insurer would examine your medical records to see if you had complained to your doctors about hearing difficulties in the past and if so could argue date of knowledge was earlier.
Remember – The legal test is not the date of actual knowledge, but the date a reasonable man should have realized.
You have indicated that your symptoms only developed over the last year and you only recently went to Specsavers, so it is quite likely you are within time to make a scaffolding hearing loss claim
Calculating compensation amounts of your scaffolding hearing loss claim
See our article hearing loss compensation calculator, which gives examples of hearing loss & tinnitus amounts and explains the medical evidence which is necessary by your solicitor to calculate how much you can claim for pain and suffering for your actual hearing damage.
In addition – a claim can be made for other financial losses and expense potentially including the cost of hearing aids if not provided by the NHS and shown to be reasonable.
Discuss your potential scaffolding hearing loss claim free of charge
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