Member develops tinnitus and hearing loss after work accident

Unite Legal Services has secured compensation for a member who suffers sleepless nights and hyper sensitivity to loud noises because of a workplace injury. 

Unite member, David, developed partial hearing loss and tinnitus after he was hit in the ear by an air pressure pipe, which was accidently switched on as he was cleaning a floor at work. The accident also caused him laceration injuries to his ear and lip. Unite Legal Services secured an interim payment for David and then settled his case in full. 

“It’s two and a half years since the accident and I’m still having sleepless nights because of the ringing in my ears,” said the 51-year-old. “I’m having regular treatment to try and ease it but I can’t imagine my hearing will ever go back to how it was. It’s really affected my mood.” 

David has returned to work but his sleepless nights make him feel tired during the day. He has to rely on hearing protection and is less confident to take part in social activities. 

He added: “I had no choice but to return to work because I couldn’t afford not to, especially with the regular treatments that I’ve needed. I have no idea how I would have coped if Unite Legal Services hadn’t forced my employer to acknowledge they were to blame for what I have gone through, as I continue to suffer.” 

Mick Whitley, North West regional secretary at Unite the Union, said: “Tinnitus affects tens of thousands of people across the UK and unfortunately many, like David, struggle with quality of life after developing the condition. 

“David’s financial situation meant that Unite Legal Services made securing an interim payment a priority. Once we did this, we fought on to secure the maximum compensation in full and final settlement of his claim. Unlike if he had gone to a solicitor outside Unite the union’s scheme, David received 100 per cent of his compensation, without any deductions.”