Compensation Industrial Deafness: Can I claim compensation for occupational hearing loss when I have been provided with ear protection by my employers?
Compensation For Industrial deafness Claims Question
I worked in machine production factory in the United Kingdom for many years and was exposed to very loud / high decibel output machinery, the company provided with in the ear foam plugs – which I did use but it did not block out the sound and often the plugs were not available. The company did regular noise testing and audiology checks for employees. On the last two tests I was told that I have low frequency damage, I left this industry approximately 2 years ago.
Industrial Deafness Solicitor Response
It may still possible to claim compensation for industrial deafness even when your employer provided ear protection in the following circumstances:
1. Regularly the foam ear plugs were not available
Even though some form of hearing protection was provided in the form of foam ear plugs – it seems from your description that they were not always available and as an employee you would not be required to supply your own.
In such instances, your employer would be considered to knowingly expose you to excessive noise without protection.
2. The foam ear plugs provided may not have been sufficient to protect your ears from the noise levels at your workplace
Different types of ear protection provide different levels of protection from noise. Foam plugs are often the most basic and although they can provide some protection that protection may not be sufficient for the types of levels of noise in the workplace.
It may be that more substantial hearing protection, such as ear defenders, were more appropriate.
Of course, this would have to be proved – the specification of the foam plugs compared to the factory noise levels would need to be examined.
See our industrial deafness compensation claim article to see how to prove your employer’s responsibility for your industrial deafness claim.
3. Time period to claim compensation for industrial deafness
You have mentioned that your hearing was tested on a regular basis and it is approximately two years since you left your place of employ.
Generally, the law permits three years from the date of injury or knowledge of injury to start a claim at court before it is too late to claim.
The time period for compensation for industrial deafness more often than not starts to run from the date of knowledge of your hearing damage, which in your case could be the date you were medically diagnosed with hearing problems.
If it is more than three years after your occupational deafness was diagnosed you will likely be time barred from making a claim. There is however an argument to suggest that if your exposure continues in the same workplace even if a diagnosis occurs – limitation may start to run on departure form the workplace.
See our work injury claim article to learn the time constraints on claiming compensation for a UK work injury claim
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