Member compensated for occupational deafness and tinnitus

A Unite member who was exposed to dangerous levels of noise by his employer for more than 25 years has received compensation with help from Unite Legal Services.

The 58-year-old from Loughborough has received £9,500 in damages after developing occupational deafness and tinnitus.

His hearing became damaged while working for a generator manufacturer from 1986. The business didn’t provide workers with hearing protection until 1995, and even then didn’t enforce wearing it.

He suffered from tinnitus for seven years before he became aware of his hearing problems. He was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears following a routine hearing test at work and now wears hearing aids in both ears.

After his diagnosis he contacted Unite Legal Services to investigate a claim for compensation. His employer did not admit liability but settled the claim out of court.

The Unite member said: “I had suffered from tinnitus for a few years and it makes it difficult to fall asleep at night. I hadn’t made the connection between the tinnitus and my work until I was diagnosed with hearing loss. It was only when I was told that I was suffering from industrial deafness that I could see that I had been struggling to hear people in large groups and had been compensating for my poor hearing for a long time.”

Annmarie Kilcline, from Unite the Union, said: “Hearing loss affects many of our members working in noisy environments and we would urge any members who have been diagnosed with work-related hearing problems to get in touch with us immediately.

“This is a success for Unite Legal Services and all our members should take some comfort from knowing that our legal services are at hand to act for members and their families.”