A fitter has won nearly £7,000 in compensation after suffering damage to his hearing as a result of exposure to noise at work.
The 66-year-old man began working for his employer in 1967 but was not provided with hearing protection until the early 1990s, despite the high noise levels in the factory where he worked. The company did not make the use of ear protection mandatory until 2006.
The type of protection provided meant that the man and his colleagues were forced to choose between using ear protection or eye protection. Feeling that his sight was more important, the fitter chose to wear protective glasses rather than hearing protection.
As a result, the man has now been diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss. He is deaf in his left ear, has to wear a hearing aid and suffers from tinnitus.
After bringing a claim against his employer, a settlement of almost £7,000 was agreed.
Employers have a duty to protect their workers against excessive exposure to noise. The Noise at Work Regulations 1989, which came into force in January 1990, put in place a series of rules that employers had to follow, depending on the level of workplace noise. The Regulations were replaced by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which revised the noise action levels. The website of the Health and Safety Executive contains useful information on protecting your hearing from damage.
Click here for further information on Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.