INJURY*

Industrial Deafness Claims*

Industrial deafness is a hearing impairment that is brought on by exposure to excessive noise in the workplace.

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Determining Who is Responsible

Employees who are exposed to a high level of noise on a daily basis should wear ear protection to avoid this injury. There is a responsibility for both the employer and the employee to ensure industrial deafness is avoided. Factors that contribute to industrial deafness are the noise levels they are exposed to and the length of time at which they have been exposed. If you have difficulty hearing certain frequencies in your working life, it may be worth investigating the noise environment at your workplace. If you are considering making a claim our team of solicitors specialise work-related injuries. Such as industrial deafness and can assist you in making sense of your situation.

Common Workplaces of Occupational Hearing Loss

Noise-induced industrial deafness can happen in a number of different working environments. People can suffer from this hearing impairment in the following workplaces:

Factories

A factory is often an enclosed working space which makes it difficult to avoid loud sounds that may slowly affect your hearing. Any factory that operates heavy plant and machinery pose a potential risk to the employees. Especially if they are not wearing the correct protective headgear.

Construction Sites

Construction workers and engineers working on construction sites can be exposed to loud noises on a daily basis . This includes machinery and heavy-duty tools such as jackhammers. This can negatively affect their hearing if proper precautions are not adhered to.

Quarries/Miners

Constant exposure to explosions and drillings etc., can induce hearing loss if ear wear is not provided.

Call Centres

Not all cases of industrial deafness are related to construction-related workplaces. In an office environment, a person can experience noise-induced hearing loss if they are wearing faulty headphones during the day or the volume of hearing headphones is turned up too loudly. To avoid this the employer should ensure that headsets are fitted with the appropriate volume limitation to protect its workers.

What are the Symptoms of Occupational Hearing Loss?

Common symptoms that may be present at the onset of industrial deafness are; struggling to hear the TV, missing parts of sentences in a conversation or experiencing a constant buzzing or ringing in your ears (tinnitus).

Industrial deafness symptoms include:

  • Deafness
  • Difficulty hearing speech when there is background noise
  • Needing to turn the television volume up to high levels in order to hear properly
  • Constant ringing and buzzing in one or both ears
  • Missing words or parts of sentences during a conversation

The symptoms can be categorised as follows:

  • Mild – difficulty hearing speech during a conversation, the TV, radio in environments where there is light background noise present.
  • Moderate – similar to the above but the person may need to wear a hearing aid on a daily basis.
  • Severe – As the person may need to rely on other forms of communication such as sign language or lip reading in conjunction with a hearing aid.
  • Profound – A person relies solely on the use of lip reading and sign language.

Tinnitus Claims*

Tinnitus is a high-pitched ringing, buzzing, hissing or humming sound in your ears and is a common disorder linked with workplace hearing impairment. Similar to what you would experience after a loud concert or from a nightclub with loud music (which is temporary), constant exposure to loud noises in the workplace can bring on permanent tinnitus if the adequate ear protection is not provided or worn by the employee.

What are the Causes?

Some of the causes of industrial deafness consist of:

  • Working in manual labouring sites without ear protection
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) not being provided by the employer
  • Listening to excessively loud music with earphones or in prolonged exposure to loud music in nightclubs or at a concert
  • Working close to loud machinery without adequate ear protection

Acoustic Shock in the Workplace

Acoustic shock syndrome is a disorder that is brought on by sudden, high volume sound. It may result in hearing loss, tinnitus or painful sensitivity to sounds. Acoustic shock can be classified in three different groups;

  • Early onset (within minutes of the event): Pain/discomfort around the ear, hearing impairment (muffled hearing), Fatigue, feeling lightheaded, dizziness, nausea
  • Medium onset (hours to days after the event): Tinnitus, Hyperacusis, Dysacusis
  • Late onset: Anxiety, Phobic Anxiety, Depression

Factory workers, machinery workers and other workers on construction sites may be exposed to sudden, loud unexpected sounds. Therefore, this can cause hearing damage if the correct protective gear is not worn.

For an office worker or call centre agent in an office environment a technical fault or feedback from a phone receiver or headset, if loud enough, can cause hearing loss or a case of tinnitus leaving the person painfully sensitive to sound.

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How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a personal injury* solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Prepare the information for a solicitor

    When you decide you want to move forward with your injury claim* it is important to have all the relevant information to hand when contacting a solicitor. Important information to have on hand at this point is:

    • Date of the accident
    • Location of the accident
    • Details of who/what caused the accident
    • Specifics of what happened
    • Who did you report the accident to?
    • If any emergency services attended the scene, and their details
    • Details of your injuries
    • Hospitals/Doctors attended with your injury
    • Any pictures you may have taken of the scene of the accident and/or your injuries
    • Details of any witnesses
    • Is there CCTV that may have captured the accident?
  2. Solicitor becomes your trusted advisor

    As a solicitor is aware of the injury claim* process they can avoid any legal bumps in the road you might encounter if you did this yourself. It is their job to be your trusted advisor on all legal matters throughout your case.

  3. Solicitor obtains a medical report

    The most important document needed to prove your injuries is your medial report. The reason a solicitor will ask for your doctor’s details or if you have attended the hospital is so they can obtain all the medical reports required to pursue the case for you.

  4. Solicitor prepares the Injuries Board application

    As soon as your solicitor has gathered all the information, your injury claim* will be submitted to the Personal Injuries Assessment Board for assessment. You solicitor will do this for you. Once the Injuries Board assess your claim your solicitor will revert with a suggested settlement amount. At this stage you have a choice to accept the Injuries Board assessment or reject it and move the next steps.

    At this point one of two scenarios will unfold:

    a. If both you and the party at fault accept the Injuries Board assessment, your case is settled and the person at fault will be ordered to pay settlement to you.

    b. If either you or the person at fault reject the Injuries Board assessment, then you move to the next stage and your solicitor will issue legal proceedings.

  5. Possible case outcomes

    Before you start to concern yourself with court and everything that comes with it, it’s important to understand that only a very small percentage of cases actually make it to a courtroom.

    Settlement meetings will be arranged where a settlement can be negotiated. Most cases are settled at this point without ever having to step foot into a courtroom and remember it’s your solicitor’s job to be with you every step of the way, right beside you to ensure that your best interests are met at all stages. Your solicitor is to be your trusted advisor throughout the process and to let you focus of your recovery, as they focus on settling your case.

At Tracey’s we make law accessible to all — regardless of your knowledge or experience with the claims process. For more information and a confidential discussion on your car accident, phone 01 649 9900 where you can speak with a member of our team straight away, or email ask@traceysolicitors.ie to tell us about your case.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with an injury claim* you may be entitled to claim compensation for the injury and added expenses you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following an accident*.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the injury*, for example, loss of earnings (if you are out of work), medical bills, and added travel costs as a result of the injury (for example, travel to and from the hospital). Learn more about Special Damages

Material Damages

Material damage refers to damage caused to your personal property. For example, in a road traffic accident, the material damage would be the damage to your car.

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim — these vary depending on the situation. The general rule for most personal injury cases* is that the person has two years from the date of the accident or date of knowledge of the accident* to make a claim for compensation. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Learn more about Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors

We draw on more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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