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Any employer that has staff working with audio equipment must assess the risks of acoustic shock injury in their workplace. If their negligence led to you or someone you know being injured, then you are entitled to claim compensation. Here we look at what’s involved in making such a claim.
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Acoustic shock is a fairly modern phenomena and may cause very distressing symptoms, both physical and emotional. Claims for this type of injury would fall under the industrial disease claims umbrella, within an industrial deafness claim.
It is most commonly suffered by people working in call centres, where they must maintain a high level of hearing concentration. Injuries can be caused by faulty audio equipment or unexpected loud noises through a headset, for example.
The symptoms may include permanent damage to hearing and ongoing problems such as tinnitus and emotional distress, all of which can affect the sufferer’s quality of life and the ability to do their job as required.
Any employee that is provided with substandard audio equipment or works for a company that does not take acoustic shock injury seriously is at risk.
How to know if you have suffered acoustic shock
Acoustic shock is usually triggered by high pitched tones. Feedback oscillation, fax or signalling tones, for example. Any loud noises down the phone line present a risk, even listening to callers at a high level.
Common symptoms associated with acoustic shock
- Pain in and around the ear
- Hearing problems
- Loss of balance
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Numbness and tissue tightening in the face
- Pressure within the ear
Such symptoms occur because of a strong muscle contraction in the middle ear after exposure. The acoustic shock can cause a tearing of the inner membrane in the ear.
Suffering an acoustic shock injury is no laughing matter. Among other things, tinnitus has been shown to cause depression and loss of sleep, and really affect the day-to-day lives of sufferers. Acoustic shock symptoms may be permanent and leave people with hearing difficulties and other issues.
Who can make an acoustic shock claim?
UK health and safety at work law dictates that employers must provide a safe and secure workplace environment. Any employer that has staff working with audio equipment must assess the risks of acoustic shock injury in their workplace. They must ensure that audio equipment is fit for purpose, well maintained and that staff are properly trained and provided with adequate rest periods. Temporary or agency workers are entitled to the same rights as full-time staff in this respect.
BT is one well-known employer that has already paid £90,000 to one worker that suffered from tinnitus. And other employees suffering from depression, headaches and other health problems, are demanding compensation for injury sustained from acoustic shock at work.
How can claiming acoustic shock compensation help you?
If you succeed with a claim for acoustic shock compensation, you can expect to receive a settlement that fairly compensates you for the pain, discomfort, distress and severity relevant to your specific symptoms. The value of your claim will depend on the severity and permanency of your injury.
Making a claim could open a route to specialist rehabilitation therapies that can ease your problems. Whilst some damage may be permanent, there are ways that some symptoms of tinnitus, for example, can be eased. A successful claim could pay for further treatments or for new and improved hearing aids.
According to the Judicial College guidelines, in assessing awards for hearing loss regard must be had to the following:
- whether the injury is one that has an immediate effect, allowing no opportunity to adapt, or whether it occurred over a period of time, as in noise exposure cases
- whether the injury or disability is one which the injured person suffered at an early age so that it has had or will have an effect on his or her speech (and will be suffered for a longer period), or is one that is suffered in later life
- whether the injury or disability affects balance
£69,000 to £92,000
The lower end of the bracket is appropriate for cases where there is no speech deficit or tinnitus. The higher end is appropriate for cases involving both of these.
Total Loss of Hearing in One Ear
£23,000 to £39,000
Cases will tend towards the higher end of the bracket where there are associated problems, such as tinnitus, dizziness or headaches.
Partial Hearing Loss or/and Tinnitus
This category covers the bulk of deafness cases which usually result from exposure to noise over a prolonged period. The disability is not to be judged simply by the degree of hearing loss; there is often a degree of tinnitus present. Age is particularly relevant because impairment of hearing affects most people in the fullness of time and impacts both upon causation and upon valuation.
Severe tinnitus and hearing loss.
£22,000 to £38,000
Moderate tinnitus and hearing loss or moderate to severe tinnitus or hearing loss alone
£11,000 to £25,000
Mild tinnitus with some hearing loss
£9,000 to £12,000
Slight or occasional tinnitus with slight hearing loss
£3,500 to £10,500
Slight hearing loss without tinnitus or slight tinnitus without hearing loss
Up to £6,000
How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim
Direct2Compensation are experts in managing claims for injuries caused at work, including acoustic shock. We know your rights and can help you to understand whether the specifics of your accident are such that you are likely to win compensation.
We can advise you on important issues, such as helping you to make sure that the details of your accident and injuries have been properly reported and recorded with your employer, and can also give you a good understanding about how the no win no fee claims process works.
Direct2Compensation work with some of the best expert accident at work solicitors in the UK. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your claim for injury compensation.
In just a few minutes on the telephone with you, we’ll obtain the initial information needed for our solicitors to commence a claim. We offer a guaranteed No Win No Fee claims service that will enable you to pursue your claim for hernia injury compensation without having to pay anything should your claim fail.