A former mill worker has secured compensation after he developed noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) caused by exposure to high levels of noise in the workplace.
Brian Haworth, now 79, worked for Qualitex Yarns Limited from 1967 until 1974. His job involved monitoring and maintaining yarns and spindles. Machinery in constant use at the mill meant the workplace was always very noisy, but as he was never given ear protection or safety advice, he assumed there was no risk to his hearing.
Mr Haworth was later diagnosed with NIHL. He finds his hearing difficulties frustrating, particularly as he struggles to take part in ordinary conversations. After he took advice on making a claim for compensation, a four-figure settlement was secured. This has helped reassure him that he will be able to pay for the care and hearing aids he needs to improve his quality of life.
Nowadays, employers have a clear duty to comply with the standards for control of exposure to noise laid down by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and to assess and control the risks of environmental noise that cannot be eliminated. Adequate hearing protection must be provided for employees and workplace noise levels regularly monitored.
Health and safety information on noise in the workplace is available from the Health and Safety Executive.