Asons Solicitors Settles £9,000 in Noise-Induced Hearing Loss for Road Worker

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A former roadman receives compensation in Out of Court settlement after being diagnosed with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The permanent condition is allegedly due to excessive noise exposure at his workplace in Gateshead.

Hearing Protection

Hearing Protection

Our client was not made aware of the risks of noise exposure at any point of his employment, and was unaware of the permanent injury that could be caused. Furthermore, he was not provided with any training or instruction.

According to the letter of claim, the worker, now aged 48, was employed as a road worker in the Highways Department, from 1988 to present. During this time, the Asons’ client was exposed to excessive noise levels, whilst working on the site.

As reported in the letter of claim, it is alleged that there were several different types of machines, and approximately 2 people worked on a job at a time. The daily duty involved operating a compressor, still saw, breaker, wacker plate and roller machines in the vicinity of similar other machines in dealing with civil engineering and road maintenance. The client was contracted to work shifts of 9 and a half hours a day, from Monday to Friday, plus overtime as and when requested by the company.

According to the letter of claim, the level of noise was so high, that in order to communicate with other employees, the claimant was left with no alternative other than to shout or use sign language. Workers were permitted breaks of 10 minutes and one lunch break of approximately 30 minutes. There was no canteen or break out area provided, leaving no escape from the noisy environment as the machinery continued to operate.

It is alleged that the employer did not provide the worker with any hearing safety equipment for nearly 10 years, by which time it is believed that excessive hearing damage had already taken place. Hearing protection subsequently became available in the form of ear plugs. The client advised that the use of the hearing protection was not enforced, and therefore a safe system of work was not enforced, which would have protected him from the risk of occupational deafness. Moreover, the civil engineering company allegedly failed to conduct any noise or risk assessments, which would have determined the noise levels their employees were being exposed to. Any risk or noise assessment would have identified the risk of injury.

Commenting on the settlement, case handler Asim Majid, said:

“It is alleged that our client spent 25 years working in an extremely loud environment, where hearing safety equipment was not provided. Also, our client’s employer failed to carry out hearing tests, create, retain or review health records, and offer advice about the risk of noise-induced hearing loss.

“Our client was not made aware of the risks of noise exposure at any point of his employment, and was unaware of the permanent injury that could be caused. Furthermore, he was not provided with any training or instruction.”

Fortunately, cases of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), or industrial deafness, have slowly been decreasing over the past three years. Despite the improvements made, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics between 2009/10 and 2011/12 suggest that around 19,000 industrial deafness cases were reported, that were either caused, or worsened, by high levels of noise at work. (1)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn how to make claims for hearing loss, or if they would like to better understand occupational hearing loss, that information is available at, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1)    HSE Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) In Great Britain - HSE July 2013

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About Asons Solicitors:
Asons Solicitors is a Bolton-based law practice that specialises in personal injury and industrial disease claims. Founded by brothers Imran Akram and Kamran Akram, Asons Solicitors has developed to become a young and dynamic law firm that delivers practical solutions to clients in times of difficulty. Their continued focus on their staff has seen them awarded with the Investors in People “Gold Award”; which is reflected in the professional and personable approach they take in working with clients. They strive to grow and to develop, and their supportiveness and attention to detail ensures that their clients use them time and again.

For further information contact:
Email: info(at)asons(dot)co(dot)uk

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John King
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