Compensation for Hearing Damage Despite Break of Several Years


An engineer exposed for several years to high levels of industrial machine noise has been awarded compensation from companies in South Wales.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss

He was subcontracted as a maintenance electrician for 2 companies, Emcor and Rolls Royce Engineering, at an industrial plant in Pontypool.

Excessive Levels of Noise – Little Protection

During the course of his employment, which involved maintaining machinery on a factory floor from 1966 to 1971 and 1978 to 1982, the man was exposed to excessive levels of noise without adequate hearing protection.

The engineer, 64 at the time of his claim, suffered noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

Huge Plant

"I worked a 40-hour week from Monday to Friday and for the whole of that period I would be on the factory floor", he explained. "At the time there were over 7,000 employees at the plant, with many machines running 24 hours a day."

The engineer said that throughout his shift he was exposed to so much noise he was forced to shout to communicate with people around him. "In more than one job there was no hearing protection provided at all", he noted.

Belated Discovery of Hearing Loss

"In January 2012 I had a hearing test and was told that I might have hearing loss caused by noise exposure. I decided to contact Simpson Millar LLP to make a claim for compensation."

"I believe I was exposed to excessive levels of noise when I worked at the plant and for all but the last year I had no hearing protection."

We took on the case and managed to persuade the companies to settle his claim, despite the fact they had denied responsibility and gave little to back up there defence.

Excellent and First Class

"The period of exposure ended more than 30 years ago but we were still able to trace the defendants and their insurance for most of the period of exposure," said Simpson Millar LLP's Clive Loxton. "We were therefore able to obtain a reasonable settlement with which our client was extremely pleased."

The engineer, who praised our service as "excellent" and "first class", accepted compensation of £5,500, reduced to £5,324 to account for the period of untraced insurance cover.

Top Tips to Take Away

  • Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an underrated menace of many loud workplaces
  • NIHL can take years to show itself – but when it does it can change your life
  • Is your working environment noisy? Get your hearing tested sooner rather than later

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