Many of our former clients were exposed to noise in the textile industry working with:
- Ring spinners
- Weaving machines
- Industrial sewing machines
Noise levels in many of the old textile mills were horrendous and hearing protection was not introduced, generally, until the 1980’s-1990’s some twenty or thirty years later than required by law. Whilst the textile industry has been in terminal decline over the last 30 years the legacy of deafness is still very much evident.
Many of our clients learnt to lip read because the noise was so great they were unable to hear colleagues working a few feet away.
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 before 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 made successful claims against a number of bodies and companies in the industry including:
- Oswald & Duncan Ltd
- Yorkshire Yarns
- Leigh Spinners Ltd
- Associated Weavers Ltd
- Woolcombers Ltd
- Carrington Viyella
- Carrington & Dewhurst
- Cotton & Rayon Spinners Ltd
- Smith & Nephew
- Perseverance Mill
- Lister Yarns
- Shiloh PLC
If you worked in this industry and are concerned about your hearing then contact us today.
Click here to see a case study of a former client who worked in this industry.