Our client spent fifteen years working in extremely loud environments, where hearing safety equipment was not provided.
Bolton, UK (PRWEB UK) 9 August 2013
According to one of the two letters of claims, the worker, now aged 62, was employed as a Plastics Converter in the Yorkshire-based firm from 1970 to 1974. It is alleged that, during this time, he was exposed to excessive noise levels, produced by machinery such as bag making machines, printing machines and other machines operated in the manufacture of plastic carrier bags.
The Asons’ client advised that there were several machines, including six bag making machines and three printing machines in his department, with approximately four people working within the premises. He worked shifts of eight hour per day, from Monday to Friday, plus regular overtime on Saturdays and Sundays. Two breaks of 10 minutes were allowed, and were taken in the canteen. Lunch was taken in the same area, and lasted approximately 20 minutes.
According to the letter of claim, the level of noise within the factory was so high, that in order to communicate with other employees, the Asons’ client was left with no alternative than to shout. It is alleged that, the noise continued throughout lunch breaks, and that the machinery could be heard in the canteen area.
According to the letter of claim, it is alleged that hearing protection was not available during Asons’ client employment. Moreover, the Company allegedly failed to conduct any noise or risk assessments to determine the noise levels employees were being exposed to. Any risk or noise assessment would have identified the risk of injury.
The second letter of claim stated that the Asons’ client was employed as a Second Engineer from 1978 to 1989 for a tugboat services firm based in Hull. During his employment, it is alleged that he was required to work in an excessively noisy environment whilst carrying out duties, which included operating from the ship’s engine room and maintaining the running of the marine engines. The Asons’ client advised that he was constantly exposed to the noise of three twin 650 horse power engines, and generators, and that shouting was the only way to communicate with colleagues.
According to the letter of claim, the Asons’ client had to work during tide times and this could range from 4 hours to 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
As with his previous employment, it is alleged that suitable and efficient hearing protection was not provided at any point during his employment. Allegedly, the employer failed to carry out employee hearing tests, create, retain or review occupational health records and offer advice about the risk of industrial hearing loss.
Commenting on the case, Asons Solicitor’s Executive, Thomas Fairclough stated that:
“It is alleged, that our client spent fifteen years working in extremely loud environments, where hearing safety equipment was not provided. Both employers also failed to carry out employee hearing tests, create, retain or review occupational health records, and offer advice about the risk of injury.
“He was not made aware of the risks of noise exposure, and was unaware of the injury that could be caused. Furthermore, they failed to provide him with any information, training or instruction.”
Fortunately, cases of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), or industrial hearing loss, 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 made worse, by high levels of noise at work. (1)
Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the hearing loss claim process, or if they would like to better understand occupational hearing loss, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133
(1) HSE Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) In Great Britain hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/deafness/ - 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.