WE solicitors have successfully represented a large number of former workers who worked in the pottery and ceramics industry. The following equipment often generated noises likely to damage hearing:
- Grinding machines
- Vibro mills
This is not an exhaustive list and anyone who has worked with noisy equipment on a regular basis could have damaged his or her hearing without knowing. If you are in doubt the general rule of thumb is, “did you have to shout over the noise to a colleague standing up to six feet away?”. If you did then it is likely the noise exceeded safe limits.
What was my employer required to do?
Prior to 1963, in most instances, employers can argue that they were not required to provide you with any hearing protection and no liability will attach to them. This means that you cannot seek compensation for exposure to noise prior to 1963, in nearly all cases.
However in 1963, most employers were sent a copy of a health and safety leaflet “Noise and the Worker”. From this date, employers had to ensure that protective hearing equipment was issued to workers who worked for 8 hours a day, in noise over a certain level. As the noise levels increased, the period of time to which you could be safely exposed to certain levels of noise reduced.
Various legislation was brought into affect to safeguard workers from hearing loss and employers were required to do the following from 2005 onwards:
- Assess the risks to employees from noise at work;
- Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
- Provide employees with hearing protection , if noise reduction cannot be achieved through other methods;
- Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
- Provide employees with information, instruction and training;
- Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.
In many cases employers did little to ensure the safety of their employees and often simply provided an occasional pair of ear plugs, without training, guidance or assessing their suitability.
Due to these failings, WE Solicitors have been successful against a number of bodies and companies in the industry including:
- H R Johnson Ltd
- Staffordshire Tableware Ltd
- Churchill China
- Gemini Ceramics Ltd
- Josiah Potteries Ltd
- Rideway Potteries Ltd
- Twyford Bathrooms
If you worked in this industry and are concerned about you hearing then contact us today.
Click here to see a case study of a former client who worked in this industry.