Noise Induced Hearing Loss – FAQs

Q) What’s the difference between ‘hearing loss’ and ‘deafness’?

nihl‘Deafness’ usually implies a severe or profound hearing loss that only affects a minority of the hearing impaired population.

Q) What are the main work-related causes of Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by continuous exposure to a steady stream of loud noise, loud repetitive blasts and even single deafening sounds, which can be caused by an explosion or machine fault. Employers should have health and safety measures in place to control these occupational hazards and protect the hearing of their employees.

Q) Do I have a noise problem at work?

This will depend on how loud the noise is and how long you are exposed to it. As a simple guide you will probably have to do something about noise if any of the following apply:

  • Is the noise intrusive – like a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – for most of the working day?
  • Do employees have to raise their voices to carry out normal conversation when about 2 metres apart for at least part of the working day?
  • Do employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
  • Do you work in a noisy industry, e.g. construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries?
  • Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc.), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detonators, or guns?

Q) Which workers are more at risk of noise induced hearing loss?

Employees exposed to a loud working environment are more at risk of sustaining NIHL. Workers within industries such as (but not limited to) construction, engineering and manufacturing are more susceptible to hearing damage. In addition, many of our clients worked (and some of our clients currently work) at shipyards, coal mines and textile mills where they have, unfortunately, been exposed to a high level of noise.

Employers have a duty to provide safety equipment and implement procedures to prevent workers from developing a hearing problem. Unfortunately, there are still some employers who are still not stringent in providing safety equipment. Consequently, employees continue to be exposed to loud noise during their employment.

Q) How is the diagnosis for noise induced hearing loss made?

A diagnosis for noise induced hearing loss can be made once you have had a hearing test. Usually, that hearing test will be analysed by a consultant to determine whether you have suffered any noise induced hearing loss, although our experienced solicitors may be able to point you in the right direction as well.

Other noise induced hearing loss symptoms can include muffled hearing, ringing ear, ear pressure and a reduction in sound quality.

Q) Who is responsible for causing my noise induced hearing loss?

Your previous and/or current employer(s) whom have exposed you to excessive noise are responsible for causing your hearing loss.

Q) I worked for a number of different employers at various sites where noise could have caused my deafness; which previous employer would I claim against?

Potentially, you would be able to claim against all of them.

However much will depend upon the circumstances of your exposure to noise, how many companies you worked for and for how long you worked at each company.

Q) My former employer is no longer trading, can I still bring a claim?

Yes, you can. We have extensive experience in dealing with cases on behalf of our clients where their employers are no longer trading. As long as you’re within the three year time limit, your specialist NIHL solicitor will get in contact with your former employer’s insurance provider directly, who will be responsible for your compensation.

Q) Does it cost to claim for noise induced hearing loss?

No. Your claim will be run on a ‘no win, no fee basis’ which means you will not have to make any payment unless your claim is successful.

If your claim is successful you may be required to pay up to 25% from your compensation as a success fee and in some circumstances, you may be advised to take out an After The Event insurance policy to protect you from the possibility of being liable for any costs. All of these points will be explained to you by one of our specialist Noise Induced Hearing Loss solicitors.

Q) How much compensation will I receive for noise induced hearing loss?

No two people are the same and the compensation awarded to noise induced hearing loss claims can differ from person to person.

At BPS Law, our specialist solicitors are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for all of our clients. The Noise Induced Hearing Loss team will work hard to calculate and negotiate your payment and ensure that you are fully compensated for any pain and suffering, financial setbacks and medical treatment you face both now and in the future.

Q) Will I need to attend court to give evidence?

At BPS, our Noise Induced Hearing Loss team appreciates the importance of taking a pragmatic approach to handling cases, exploring alternative dispute resolution where appropriate in order to achieve the best solution for our clients. Consequently, the vast majority of our cases do not require you to attend court.

Q) How long will my case take?

Although some cases can take longer most are settled within 12 to 18 months.