Saws and cutting machinery can generate noise levels up to 107dB(A). So, it's no wonder that the ears of workers across a range of industries are affected by noise-induced hearing loss. Exposure to noise at work can result in permanent hearing damage - the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified noise-induced deafness as one of the most common occupational health issues in the UK.
Occupational hearing problems are particularly widespread across industry-heavy regions such as Newcastle and North East England and the personal injury solicitors at Seth Lovis & Co can help you seek noise-induced deafness compensation if your employer did not protect you sufficiently from the dangers of high noise levels in the workplace.
Why is the ear so vulnerable?
The ear is a complex and delicate organ, and whilst age is a major factor in hearing loss, continuous exposure to loud noises at work can cause gradual and intrusive damage to the sensitive structures within.
Whether hearing loss is caused by an unexpected loud noise such as an explosion - as in acoustic shock - or sustained through exposure to constant noise, once the ear's structure is damaged sound waves will no longer be able to be transmitted accurately for full interpretation into sounds by the brain.
How does loud noise change the ear?
The prolonged noise exposure experienced by workers across numerous industries causes the hair cells within the ear to become damaged. These miniscule inner hairs line the ear's basilar; they act as receptors for sound and enable balance. The hair cells also transmit vital signals to the brain via the cochlear nerve.
Without these cells, signals cannot be received by the brain; causing permanent hearing loss. Following any form of cochlear damage, ears will lose some degree of sensitivity as each one of the many thousands of hairs is responsible for picking up individual sounds.
Is cochlear damage reversible?
If a large proportion of the hair cells lining the cochlear and basilar become damaged then permanent hearing loss will occur. Severe damage cannot be rectified via the use of hearing aids, however, cochlear implants have proved effective for those who have had limited success with hearing aids.
Cochlear implants are placed under the skin and are designed to replace hair cells that the patient has lost by converting electrical signals and relaying them to the brain.
Do you have noise induced deafness?
Newcastle and North East England is home to many hives of industrial enterprise, each of which has the potential to cause noise-induced deafness. Firms that have failed to put proper training and preventative measures in place, may be exposing their employees to unnecessary risk and any worker who is adversely affected may be eligible to claim compensation.
If you have sustained temporary or permanent hearing loss as a result of noise exposure at work, call Seth Lovis & Co today on 0808 252 0678 for professional and impartial legal advice and representation.