Unfortunately, deafness claims for metal machining workers are a far more common eventuality that for workers from the vast majority of UK industrial sectors.
This is because metal machining can, without the use of adequate ear protection and the enforcement of the correct health and safety law, be extremely hazardous to worker hearing, particularly where machines are not properly maintained and produce an unacceptable amount of noise.
The problems of work-related deafness
According to the Health and Safety Executive, around 170,000 UK workers suffer from some form of deafness-related problem such as Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) or tinnitus as a result of exposure to excessive noise or other hazardous factors in the workplace. This figure does not even account for the more than one-million workers who, it is thought, suffer from exposure to excessive workplace noise – some describe the potential problem as a "time bomb".
How much noise is too much?
The level of damage sustained to a worker's hearing is likely to vary depending on three factors: the individual involved – the duration of noise exposure, and – the decibel level of noise exposure.
As a general, layperson's rule, if a person can talk to another from a distance of two metres without needing to shout, it is likely that the noise levels will not be too high – however, this rule does not always hold, as even lower levels of noise exposure can, given the circumstances, result in damage.
Noise levels are measured in decibels dB(A). By way of illustration, a typical quite room will have a noise level of around 20dB(A) while a normal conversation will register around 60dB(A). For contrast, an aeroplane taking off at a distance of between 20 and 30 metres away will register as around 140dB(A).
However, these readings can be misleading, because the differences in intensity between two closely banded readings can be extreme.
As with all employees, metal machining workers must be given information about risks and appropriate preventative action where weekly exposure equals 80dB. Where weekly exposure measures 85dB, there is a legal obligation for employers to provide ear protection, which, furthermore, must be worn. In addition, maximum weekly exposure is set at 87dB.
Metal machining deafness claims
Whether you are looking to claim against a current or former employer, Seth Lovis & Co. can help you ensure full sums for any hearing loss or damage you have sustained as a result of occupational conditions.
Although deafness claims for metal machining workers can sometimes be complex, our personal injury solicitors can simplify the process, bringing clarity and confidence to you and your hopes for compensation.
For more information contact our offices in the heart of London on 0808 252 0678.