The human ear is an incredibly sensitive part of the body and was not designed for the industrial and noisy environments in which it is commonly found. There are many work environments that provide additional strain on the ear through either sustained or occasional loud noise levels. Heavy industry was once a major culprit, but these days industrial deafness is increasingly found in call-centres and other workplaces that involve the use of headsets.
What is Acoustic Shock?
Acoustic Shock, also referred to as acoustic trauma, happens when the ear is subjected to a vey loud noise; either suddenly, or over a long period of time. Common examples would be gunshots, explosions, or shouting at close proximity. When using a headset you may be at risk if the person to whom you are talking suddenly shouts, or if the headset malfunctions and causes loud, sharp feedback. If the ears are not protected then the noise can cause irreparable damage such as temporary loss of hearing, permanent loss of hearing, a perforated eardrum and tinnitus.
How to prevent acoustic shock
In the case of working in a very noisy environment, the risk of suffering from acoustic shock can be minimised through the use of personal protective equipment such as ear-defenders or earplugs. However, in a situation where the employee wears a headset to communicate with others, the headset must be fitted with noise limiters. These work by automatically reducing the volume of the conversation, or simply not transmitting noises above 118 decibels to the user of the equipment.
What to do if you have suffered from acoustic shock or industrial deafness
If your hearing has been affected by your work, no matter what type of industry you work or previously worked in, then you could be entitled to claim for compensation. All employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees while performing their job; this includes identifying and eliminating risks of industrial hearing issues and acoustic shock. Contact one of our solicitors today to see if you could be entitled to claim. They have years of experience in dealing with these types of situations and will swiftly be able to tell you if you could be entitled to claim, and if so, how much you could be entitled to. While we may not be able to fix your hearing, we can help you to get the treatment you need, and compensation for the suffering you have endured.