Rail worker's deafness noise-induced

Posted: 11th February 2014

TrainA former rail worker who suffers from hearing loss as a result of repeated exposure to excessive workplace noise over a period of years has won £8,500 in an out-of-court settlement.

The man began working for British Rail, at its Swindon works, in 1956 and was with the organisation until 1973. While working at several different sites at the works, he endured repeated exposure to loud noises made by heavy machinery as well as the sound of workmates riveting and hammering nearby.

The noise was often so great that workers were unable to communicate with each other. Sometimes they used to resort to stuffing dirty rags in their ears to try to block out the noise.

During this time, he was not given any hearing protection or warned that prolonged exposure to excessive noise could damage his hearing.  He eventually went deaf. He was able to provide medical evidence to support his personal injury claim against his former employer and a compensation settlement was agreed.

If you suffer from deafness caused by a noisey work environment because your employer failed to take appropriate preventive action to protect you, you may be entitled to compensation. It is important to take advice early on as there are time limits that apply when making a claim for compensation.

Health and safety information on noise in the workplace is available from the Health and Safety Executive website.