Industrial Deafness and Tinnitus
What is noise-induced hearing loss?
Every day, we experience sound in our environment, such as the sounds from television and radio, household appliances, and traffic. Normally, these sounds are at safe levels that don’t damage our hearing. But sounds can be harmful when they are too loud, even for a brief time, or when they are both loud and long-lasting. These sounds can damage sensitive structures in the inner ear and cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
NIHL can be immediate or it can take a long time to be noticeable. It can be temporary or permanent, and it can affect one ear or both ears. Even if you can’t tell that you are damaging your hearing, you could have trouble hearing in the future, such as not being able to understand other people when they talk, especially on the phone or in a noisy room. Regardless of how it might affect you, one thing is certain: noise-induced hearing loss is something you can prevent.
Who is affected by NIHL?
This is not limited to older people. Exposure to noise and damage to hearing can happen at any age.
What causes NIHL?
NIHL can be caused by exposure to industrial noise over a long period of time or it can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense “impulse” sound, such as an explosion.
Your hobbies can also place you at risk of NIHL. These include attending very loud concerts, listening to music on headphone at a high level, target shooting and hunting.
Low level exposure to sound even over long periods is unlikely to cause NIHL but repeated exposure to sound measured over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.
Workers from construction sites, factories, airports and street workers face a barrage of noise at work. Pneumatic drills, saws, sanders, all can cause NIHL if used over a long period of time without adequate hearing protection. One off exposure to explosion such as firecrackers and firearms can also cause it.
Who is responsible for your Occupational Deafness?
Employer to blame for Industrial Deafness
The Noise at Work Act 1989 was introduced to help prevent Industrial Deafness. This Act set out the rules that employers needed to adhere to regarding health and safety with regard to noise.
Whilst on the whole exposure to noise has improved, many workers are still required to work in very noisy environments without hearing protection.
If you were exposed to noise and are suffering from NIHL, you may be entitled to make a claim.
Should you wish to discuss this further with a qualified solicitor call us on 0207 6533200.