Demolition Worker wins £10,000 in tinnitus case

Mr P, 55 years of age, came to QualitySolicitors Oliver and Co in February 2012 as he noticed his hearing was not as it should be and he was noticing a buzzing/ringing in his ears. He found that he was having to turn the volume up on the television, much to the annoyance of his wife, and he had to sleep with the radio on as the buzzing/ringing in his ears affected his sleep. He also struggled to hear people speaking when he was in a crowd of people.

Mr P had been working since 2001 in a noisy employment where he was employed as a demolition operative. He would be operating a 360 excavator, hand breakers, stihl saws and jack hammers, all of which were very noisy. He would use these machines to knock down premises such as houses, schools and warehouses. This would often require having to knock through concrete floors using breakers, which was incredibly noisy. In addition to this, Mr P was surrounded by other workers who would be using noisy machinery at the same time as him and this added to the noise levels created. In order to communicate with his colleagues who were standing even a couple of feet away, Mr P had to shout in order for them to hear him.

When Mr P first commenced his employment, he was not provided with any hearing protection. It was only much later in his employment that he was provided with ear muffs and ear plugs. When the hearing protection was first provided to him, it was not compulsory for Mr P to wear it. It was made compulsory towards the end of his employment, however, by this point the damage to his hearing had already been done.

Mr P spoke to a friend about suffering from hearing loss and decided to go and see his GP who confirmed that he was suffering with noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus. He was referred to the hospital and was provided with hearing aids. These were NHS hearing aids and unfortunately Mr P did not believe that these helped his hearing.

QualitySolicitors Oliver & Co instructed a medical expert on Mr P’s behalf to prepare a report on his hearing loss. The medical expert stated that Mr P was suffering with noise related hearing loss and mild tinnitus. He also stated that Mr P required hearing aids approximately 20 years sooner than had he not been exposed to excessive noise during his employment.

Mr P’s claim settled for the sum of £10,000 in September 2012. This sum included compensation for his hearing loss and tinnitus which had been caused by the exposure to excessive levels of noise and also a contribution towards digital hearing aids which would be better for his needs.

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