Ship Builder suffers severe hearing loss allegedly as result of employment.

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After 11 months of comprehensive research and legal work, Asons Solicitors have settled a £4,500 industrial deafness claim for their client.

According to the case documents, the Asons’ client, aged 74, advised that he was employed as a Ship Right from 1962 to 1985. During his employment, the client was surrounded by machinery, and regularly operated caulkers, drills, welders and other hand operated tools.

According to the letter of claim, Asons’ client was required to work in an excessively noisy environment, whilst carrying out his duties; to communicate; he was left with no other option but to shout. He worked 8 hours days 5 days a week; he also regularly worked an additional 8 hours a week. Breaks of fifteen minutes were allowed, in addition to an hour for lunch, however the noise continued throughout these breaks and no shelter from the exposure was available.

Asons Executive, Thomas Fairclough made the following statement:

“Our client worked in an environment that was extremely loud; According to our documents, no provision was made for suitable and efficient hearing protection during his employment. The company also failed to ensure that any noise or risk assessments were carried out, no measures were taken to determine whether or not the noise levels their employees were exposed to were safe.”

The letter of claim outlined how the company failed to make the claimant aware of the risks of noise exposure. No information, supervision or training was given to educate employees regarding the risks of such exposure. Hearing protection was made available in approximately 1972 however, despite this, the use of them was not enforced until 1978.

The letter of claim also stated that there were no warning signs present within the client’s place of work, and there was no system in place to enforce the use of hearing protection in the demarcated zones. By failing to implement, and maintain, a safe system of work, employees were not protected from the foreseeable risk of injury.

Measures could, and should, have been implemented, risk assessments should have been completed, with noise levels or exposure times reduced to a level that would have prevented our claimant being injured. The lack of risk assessments conducted prevented safety measures from being implemented.

According to industrial deafness.org, the lower exposure action level set out to employers by the Health and Safety Executive is an 80dB weekly or daily exposure level. At this level, the employer must be responsible for providing employees with training and information on noise levels, as well as making hearing protection available to staff. Failing to provide adequate training and hearing protection can cause hearing problems, especially in industries that have higher rates of industrial deafness such as construction, music, engineering and factory work (1)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the industrial deafness claim process, or if they would like to better understand industrial hearing loss, that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 01204 521 133

(1)    Causes of industrial deafness - http://www.industrialdeafness.org.uk/causes-of-industrial-deafness - Industrial Deafness .Org July 2013

–ENDS –

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)ason(dot)co(dot)uk
Website: http://www.asons.co.uk

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John King
@AsonsSolicitors
since: 01/2013
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