Industrial deafness also known as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is a hearing impairment very common in industries or workplaces where extreme “deafening” noise is prevalent.
Exposing the ears to the extreme noise damages the cells causing hearing impairment with symptoms of muffling, ringing or buzzing in the ear. The impairment is almost always permanent, and it is associated with problems in sound related activities such as making conversation.
To be classified as deaf, a person does not necessarily have to completely lose his or her hearing ability. The hearing just has to be deteriorated, and there are varying degrees of this.
– Mild deafness – this is the most common form where the sufferer has difficulty clearly hearing and following a conversation.
– Moderate deafness – In this form, the sufferer can only hear with the help of a hearing aid
– Severe deafness – Despite using a hearing aid, lip reading and sign language are the mode of communication for those suffering from this condition
– profound deafness – This is the most serious form and like in severe deafness, the sufferer has to rely on lip reading and sign language
Hearing loss is a very dangerous condition since the symptoms appear many years after exposure to extreme noise. It is therefore often difficult for many workers to identify the root-cause especially if they keep changing jobs. The symptoms also vary in severity depending on some factors such as the type of noise protection used and the length of exposure. It is best to visit a doctor or audiologist if you are having issues with your hearing to get a proper diagnosis of the noise damage but administering regular self-evaluations can also help because of the creeping unnoticeable nature of hearing loss.
In the event you are diagnosed with the condition and the cause is the loud noise in your workplace where your employer is too negligent to provide a safe working environment, it is your right to file a compensation claim. If you intend to pursue a compensation claim, you first need to find qualified solicitors with a thorough understanding of industry legislation to represent you. The right solicitors should ensure that you are awarded the right compensation, treatment and support.
Each compensation claim is different because of the differing circumstances of the injury and the differing levels of pain and suffering of each claimant. Several factors have to be taken into consideration when working out the potential compensation for a claim. However, there are set precedents for an approximate award which can be used as a guide to working out the approximate lump sum compensation for your industrial deafness.