Occupational or industrial deafness is when you have suffered a loss, or partial loss, of hearing because you were exposed to excessive noise in the workplace. There are four categories of industrial deafness
Tinnitus is when you constantly hear noises which sound like ringing, buzzing, hissing or a distant roaring. It can occur suddenly or develop over a period of time depending on the initiating factor.
Acoustic Trauma is when you have been exposed to a single very loud noise, or a number of loud noises in quick succession. Industrial deafness related to acoustic trauma often incorporates physical injury such as a perforated eardrum.
Temporary Threshold Shift occurs with exposure to a noise level of above 75 or 80 decibels for several hours. Your hearing will become accustomed to this noise level whilst it continues, but if you were to try to listen to the TV or radio afterwards would need to turn up the volume because of your temporary industrial deafness. After about twelve hours away from the source of noise, your hearing “shifts” back to its normal range.
Permanent Threshold Shift starts to occur when your temporary threshold shift fails to return to normal. The permanent damage manifests itself in the loss of reception for certain audio frequencies – most commonly women´s and children´s voices – and once the industrial deafness has reached this stage, it is irreversible.
We have established a free advice telephone service that you (or a close relative if necessary) may call to get helpful, accurate advice relating to making a claim for industrial deafness compensation. Call now on 1-800 989 995
Noise Regulations introduced in 2007
The General Application (Exposure to Noise) Regulations 2007 were introduced to provide minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of employees to the risks arising from noise in the workplace and prevent instances of industrial deafness.
The main responsibilities placed on employers by these regulations are to advise employees before the noise level reaches 80 decibels and provide adequate hearing protection. If the noise level is to exceed 85 decibels, the employer should provide the services of a registered medical practitioner to carry out hearing checks and audiometric testing. He should also take all steps possible to enclose the source of the noise and re-arrange the times at which the noise levels are at their maximum to protect employees from industrial deafness.
If your employer has failed to follow the guidelines laid down in these regulations and you subsequently suffer from any form of industrial deafness you will be entitled to sue for compensation.
Claiming Industrial Deafness Compensation
Although the Statute of Limitations states that any personal injury claim has to be made within two years of the accident leading to the injury, with industrial deafness claims for compensation, the victim has two years from the “date of knowledge” that they are suffering from industrial deafness in which to make a claim. As audiometric test results have to be kept for a minimum of 15 years, the period involved between the actual injury occurring and a claim for industrial deafness compensation being filed could be in excess of twenty years.
Claims for industrial deafness compensation are dealt with initially by the Injuries Board Ireland, but due to the many different variants within the four categories of industrial deafness listed above, this particular personal injury is not listed in the “Book of Quantum” – and it is therefore possible that their assessment may be totally inadequate to compensate for the trauma you have experienced and continue to suffer from. Consequently, it is strongly recommended that you seek professional legal counsel when considering a claim for industrial deafness compensation.
We have established a free advice telephone service that you (or a close relative if necessary) may call to get helpful, accurate advice relating to making a claim for industrial deafness compensation. Our personal injury claims solicitors have many years experience of dealing with work related claims for compensation, and are familiar with what is entailed in a claim for industrial deafness compensation.
When you call our free service, you will find us understanding and sympathetic to your problem whilst offering impartial advice with no obligation expected from you. Call us now on 1-800 989 995 or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form (above left) and we will call you back.
Our Promise to You:
- 100% One-to-one consultation with an experienced solicitor
- 100% Impartial and helpful advice on your industrial deafness claim
- 100% Our own assessment of your case
- 100% Accurate and straightforward information
What You Can Expect When You Call
Our solicitors are very aware of how much a loss of hearing can compromise ones quality of life and will be looking to maximise any potential award in your favour. Therefore you can expect us to be understanding, sympathetic and offer helpful advice in straightforward English.
We will ask you to tell us how you acquired your industrial deafness, what medical reports you have to demonstrate your original clarity of hearing (these are not essential but helpful) and to explain how your quality of life has suffered since your hearing deteriorated.
Our solicitors will assess your case, let you know if you have a claim for industrial deafness which it is worth your while to pursue and offer a variety of options to take your case forward. Should you choose to proceed with us, we will explain the procedures clearly to you.
Despite the period of time you have available to make a claim, constructing a case for industrial deafness compensation can be a lengthy process. Therefore we would ask that you call our free advice telephone service on 1-800 989 995 at your earliest convenience.
If your industrial deafness has left you totally deaf, please ask a relative to call on your behalf and we will be happy to pass on the advice via them. If this is not a convenient time, complete the call-back form below and one of our team will ring you when it is more suitable.