The truth behind the increase in industrial deafness claims…
Posted Tuesday 7th October 2014
Also known as occupational deafness or noise induced hearing loss, industrial deafness can be caused by no end of factors and working environments where noise levels are above the accepted minimum. Professions and industries which are most commonly associated with industrial deafness claims include engineering and construction, manufacturing and factories, and quarries, foundries and mines.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 has been the most major of all steps taken in preventing occurrences of industrial deafness. It stipulates the necessary requirements by both employers and employees to reasonably assess, act upon, and reduce the likelihood of industrial deafness. Furthermore, The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 specifies lower and upper action level values that employers must ensure are not exceeded. In the event these action level values are exceeded, then it is deemed that the noise generated could be detrimental to employees’ hearing and action would be required. It also stipulates exposure limit values, which must not be exceeded, of ‘daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB (decibels)’.
Not only must companies adhere to, and comply with, the requirements set out under The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. But the Health and Safety Executive has implemented a set of prerequisite legal guidelines that employers’ must follow too.
However, this rise in awareness of industrial deafness legislation seems to have opened a can of worms.
So, why is there an increase in industrial deafness claims…?
The former ‘whiplash’ culture now appears to have turned its attention to industrial deafness claims. According to a recent article in the Independent, “Compensation claims for industrial deafness have risen by two thirds over the past two years, according to insurance and legal experts. Despite the increase, however, only one in 10 cases are being paid out amid claims of widespread fraud. An estimated 80,000 claims were made last year, compared with 55,000 in 2012, according to the Institute of Actuaries. With only 10 per cent successfully receiving payouts, Industrial Deafness cases have been dubbed ‘the new whiplash’ by some insurers”.
With compensation payouts for relatively mild industrial deafness claims, such as tinnitus, ranging from between £3000 and £6000, it’s imperative that the genuine cases are not swept up with the fraudulent cases. That’s why it’s crucial that the genuine industrial deafness cases follow the correct procedure of diagnosis by seeking medical care and support from their GPs or health care providers – as well as accurate legal advice.
However, diagnosis of industrial-related hearing loss is more complex compared with diagnosis of whiplash. There are a number of tests and examinations which can be carried out by a GP or consultant, including tuning fork tests, pure tone audiometry, and bone conduction tests. This makes it easier to accept or reject claims based on medical approval and validity.
In addition, of the legitimate industrial deafness claims, factors such as the UK’s ageing population need to be taken into consideration. One key example is the mining industry: during the 1950s to 1980s, there was little awareness of the impact that excessive noise had on individuals’ health. Nowadays, however, a number of those miners who were subjected to noise levels of in excess of 80dB are now suffering as a result of their former working environment.
Talk to County Cost Consultants... our skilled law cost draftsman team has the specialist knowledge, experience and expertise to deal with even the most complex of industrial deafness cases.
As one of the UK’s leading full-service cost consultants, County Cost Consultants understands your industry demands and challenges. And when dealing with cases such as industrial deafness claims, not only is a highly professional approach required – but one of empathy, diligence, and awareness is crucial to a positive outcome too.
The County Costs Consultants’ law cost draftsman team and law cost negotiators have been dealing with an extensive variety of demanding, challenging and intricate industrial deafness claims since 2000. We appreciate the importance of attention to detail and patience when dealing with complex arguments. And we take great pride in our ability to recover costs with speed and efficiency.
We believe that our expertise and competence is essential to ensuring successful industrial deafness claim resolutions and outcomes. So for further information on County Cost Consultants’ unrivalled levels of customer service, or to discuss your case in more detail, please call 0844 579 6885 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.