How Do I Prove My Hearing Loss is Work Related?
If you believe noise at work was responsible for your hearing loss, our Industrial Disease Solicitors may be able to help you prove it. After taking on your case, we can arrange for you to have an independent medical examination, which should help us establish the likely cause of your hearing loss.
At the same time, we’ll gather information on your working history and the processes you followed in the workplace. Since employers are responsible for your health and safety at work, we’ll seek to establish whether your employer/s took adequate precautions to safeguard your hearing, such as providing you with hearing protection or monitoring and limiting your exposure to loud noises in the workplace.
If possible, we’ll also obtain witness statements from people who worked at the company at the same time as you, so we can collect more evidence of what safety measures, if any, were in place. This should enable us to prove whether your hearing loss is at least partly work related and that your employer was negligent in providing a healthy and safe working environment.
What Can Cause Work Related Hearing Loss?
Occupational hearing loss is often the result of exposure to loud noise at work over an extended period of time. As a result, it’s particularly common among people who have regularly used heavy duty machinery as part of their work, such as people working in call centres, engineering, manufacturing, shipbuilding and construction.
However, it can also be the consequence of a one-off exposure to a loud noise, such as an explosion or a sudden high frequency sound. Known as “acoustic shock”, this type of hearing loss is especially common among those who wear headsets at work, such as call centre operators.
In most cases of occupational hearing loss, it can be many years until a person notices that their hearing has deteriorated. Furthermore, many people may not immediately link it to their work, and believe it is a natural consequence of ageing.
However, our Industrial Disease Solicitors can arrange for you to undergo an assessment by an independent medical expert. This can be essential for helping us gauge the severity of your condition and what additional care and resources you need to deal with it, which in turn helps us value your claim accurately.
Once we have a medical report and a valuation of your hearing loss claim, we can then approach the party you hold responsible seeking compensation.
While work related hearing loss cannot be cured, steps can be taken to help you manage the condition, such as wearing hearing aids. The cost of obtaining these could be included in our valuation of your compensation claim, so you have the means of paying for the hearing aids you need.
What the Signs of Work Related Hearing Loss?
The nature of work related hearing loss means it may only become apparent gradually over a long period of time. Indications that your hearing is starting to deteriorate can include:
- Tinnitus – a buzzing or ringing in the ears that’s not caused by any external source
- Finding it hard to hear high frequency sounds
- Struggling to hear in places with lots of background noise, such as restaurants or pubs
- Being told by others that the TV is too loud.
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