If you work in a particularly noisy environment, then you are at risk from work hearing loss, and your employer should have introduced guidelines to comply with the exposure to noise regulations contained in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2007). Effectively, your employer has a legal obligation to protect employees from work hearing loss in environments where noise levels regularly approach 80 decibels, and provide protective hearing protection when this level of noise is exceeded.
Should your employer fail to keep noise levels down or provide adequate protection for his employees, he is in breach of this Act, and anybody suffering from a work hearing loss as a result is entitled to sue for work hearing loss compensation.
Many people believe that in order to claim compensation for work hearing loss, you have to have suffered an injury which has resulted in total deafness. This is not necessarily so, as there are four levels of work hearing loss that you are entitled to claim compensation for before you reach total deafness:-
- Tinnitus – A constant distant ringing or whistling in the ears which can appear suddenly or develop over a number of years.
- Acoustic Trauma – A loss of hearing following a single, very loud noise, frequently associated with a physical injury such as a perforated eardrum.
- Temporary Threshold Shift – A temporary dullness of hearing after working for a long period in a noisy environment.
- Permanent Threshold Shift – When the above condition becomes permanent and you stop hearing sounds in certain audio frequencies.
If you experience any type of hearing loss or pain in your ear, it is recommended that you make an appointment to visit your family doctor and have an audiometric test. Many of us will have had these done as children or in a regular health check-up, so your doctor will be able to calculate if you have suffered any work hearing loss from working in an over-noisy environment.
Claiming for Work Hearing Loss
Claiming for work hearing loss may not always be straightforward. Although work hearing loss is an industrial injury, there are no guidelines in the “Book of Quantum” to guide the Injuries Board Ireland in their assessment of your application for work hearing loss compensation.
Therefore, it is in your best interests to use the services of a specialist personal injury claims solicitor. Not only will a solicitor ensure that you receive a fair and adequate amount of compensation for work hearing loss, they will also factor in damages for the deterioration in your quality of life.
The services of a solicitor may also be of benefit to you if you are approached by your employer´s insurance company with an offer of early settlement. Frequently these offers are designed to save the company and their shareholders money and not to provide for you and your family. A more suitable settlement for your work hearing loss can be negotiated – a solicitor will usually be able to acquire significantly more than the original offer.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of using a solicitor when pursuing a claim for work hearing loss compensation, please do not hesitate to call our free advice telephone service.
You, or a member of your family, will be able to speak directly with a solicitor, ask questions relating to a claim for work hearing loss compensation and receive valuable and helpful advice. The call and the service are both free, and there is no obligation to proceed with a claim once you have spoken with us.
Call us now on 1-800 989 995 or if you cannot speak now please fill in the form on the left and we will call you back.
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What You Can Expect to Happen?
Our solicitors have many years of experience working with people who have partially or fully lost their sense of hearing through a work hearing loss. Therefore, you will find us sympathetic to your injury and taking our time to explain your options as clearly as possible.
We will want to know the circumstances surrounding your work hearing loss, at what level it has been diagnosed and how severely it has affected your quality of life. We would also like to hear about your work environment and what the factors were that led up to your work hearing loss.
Our solicitors will make a preliminary assessment of your claim for work hearing loss compensation and advise you if we feel that you have a case which it is worth your while to pursue. If so, we will advise you how long we expect your case to take and give you an indication of the level of compensation we would expect you to receive.
Whether you choose to proceed with a claim for work hearing loss compensation after having spoken with us is entirely up to you. You may want a few days to think things over or would like to call back with any questions that you have subsequently thought of – which you are more than welcome to do.
To get the process started, please give our free advice telephone service a call on 1-800 989 995
If it is too difficult for you to do yourself, please ask a family member to call on your behalf. Our lines are open from 8.00am to 10.00pm and we can assure you of a dedicated and professional service at all times. Or, 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.