A Swindon solicitor has urged manufacturing workers who have been exposed to noisy environments and have suffered a loss of hearing or ringing in the ears, to visit their GP and insist on a hearing test.
Brigitte Chandler, a leading industrial disease lawyer with Swindon firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall, says deafness among retired workers in the town is increasing because of the excessive noise levels they have had to endure at work.
“Many people in Swindon have worked in heavy industry – either in the railway or car industries or other areas of manufacturing,” she says. “In the past they were not provided with hearing aids and as a result, as they have got older, they have become deaf.
“They might think this is down to old age but it is often noise exposure which is the cause. There is a simple test which can be carried out which identifies if deafness is the result of age or noise exposure.”
Brigitte Chandler has recently settled a case for John Garrett of The Lawns, Swindon who worked for British Rail between 1951-1971. Mr Garrett worked in numerous works shops where he was exposed to pneumatic hammers, drilling and grinding machines and general engineering noise.
He was provided with no ear protection – even though from 1955 British Rail knew that exposing their workforce to excessive noise, might result in deafness.
“Mr Garrett starting having problems in 2006 when he was aware of a ringing in his ears,” says Brigitte Chandler. “Great Western Hospital advised him it was the result of noise at work. He now has to wear hearing aids.”
Mr Garret’s case was settled out of court with British Rail agreeing compensation to cover pain and suffering for deafness as well as costs towards hearing aids and other equipment.
“Anyone who is suffering from deafness and worked in a noisy environment should visit their GP and insist on a hospital test,” added Brigitte Chandler. “Private hearing aids can be claimed from the employer as well as other equipment which makes deafness more manageable. There is also apparatus available for tinnitus.
“Ideally, claims should be filed three years from the time the person is first advised by a doctor they have industrial deafness.”
Please contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793 511055 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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