There are important differences between suffering the condition known as tinnitus and the more serious noise induced hearing loss. Many misconceptions exist, and while it is true in rare cases that tinnitus may be the first sign of serious hearing damage, it is most commonly a result of more mundane causes such as the build up of wax or ear infection.
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Both temporary and permanent hearing damage are almost invariably caused by company negligence to ensure the enforcement of statutory Health & Safety precautions. Where every effort is made and ear protection is provided, in some instances, workers may only partly wear the protection. Complying with the guidance would have prevented excessive noise levels at workplace premises, leading to workers being permanently disabled by noise induced hearing loss.
Establishing fault for diagnosed industrial deafness at a particular workplace rather another in today’s ‘loud’ world, is deemed very necessary, as hearing loss compensation cases will revolve around issues of proving employer negligence.
Hearing loss accounts for three quarters of all workplace injury claims and industrial deafness, with a long history of excessive noise, is still considered a persistent and frequent experience for many workers in manufacturing sectors.
It has been often reported that despite efforts to reduce risk of noise induced hearing loss in the workplace, it is sometimes individual workers, themselves, who pose the biggest threat by self-inflicted hearing damage. It is too often observed that ear defenders are not being worn correctly for fear of being unable to hear machinery operating or instructions and warnings from colleagues and supervisors.