Bin Man Wins Compensation for Damaged Hearing
Date online: 23/09/2011
A refuse collector whose hearing has been impaired as a result of many years spent working alongside noisy bin lorries and recycling equipment has won compensation for the damage.
Graham Wild, 50, worked for Rochdale Council as a bin man for thirty years. In the course of his work, he was exposed to levels of noise in excess of those recognised as dangerous.
Mr Wild found out about his hearing loss when he took a free hearing test. This revealed that he had moderate tinnitus – a ringing sound in the ears – and mild hearing loss. Tinnitus often affects sufferers more at quiet times and Mr Wild now finds it difficult to sleep because of the ringing noises. He also wears hearing aids in both ears.
He explained that the Council had never warned him about the dangers of frequent exposure to loud noise, nor did it provide any protective equipment.
After a claim was brought against his former employer, the case was settled out of court for £8,250.
Over the past few decades it has emerged that damage to hearing can occur at levels that were previously thought safe. As a result, health and safety law relating to allowable noise levels at work has been tightened up significantly. Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers’ health and provide them with information and training is now 80 dBA (daily or weekly average exposure). The level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is 85 dBA and there is also a maximum exposure limit value of 87 dBA, taking account of any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection.
Health and safety information on noise in the workplace is available from the Health and Safety Executive.
If you think your hearing has suffered due to work conditions then please contact our Personal Injury team here at Molesworths Solicitors on 01706 356666.
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