Large Company Prosecuted for Breaching Noise Regulations
A large manufacturer of foam and feather furnishings, Fibreline Ltd, has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to comply with health regulations as noise levels within the factory, between 2006 and 2013, did not meet noise regulations.
Investigations had been carried out by the HSE between this 7 year period and the following was found:-
- Noise levels in 2008 had reached 2 – 3 times the maximum allowed after a third feather processing machine was bought.
- In 2011, two foam fabrication gluing machines were found side by side in the large factory, which breached health regulations.
- Hearing protection was not enforced in the excessively noisy parts of the factory and was not made compulsory until 2013 meaning 40 employees had to have hearing tests to assess their noise exposure.
FibreLine Ltd was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,457 as a result of being in breach of the health and safety regulations and failing it protect its workforce.
Further to the hearing a HSE Inspector, David Welsh, advised that “prolonged exposure to excessive and often constant levels of noise where people work day after day is a recognised threat to health and can lead to noise-induced hearing loss – a condition that can be severely debilitating”.
All employers owe a duty to their employees to ensure that their working environment meet health and safety standards. In this case, they failed to protect their employees, who as a result, may have developed noise induced hearing loss.
Noise induced hearing loss is a condition which affects many who have worked in industry and what can also develop alongside hearing loss is tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in the ears for short or long periods of time depending on its severity. Sometimes the tinnitus can mask hearing loss and so it is important that you go and visit your GP to have this assessed.
We have a specialist team of Solicitors who deal with Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claims on a day to day basis and who will be able to provide you with a professional service where you will be guided through your claim.