Textile Industry Case Study


Mrs H developed occupational deafness over a period of several years, working as a Weaver for Smith and Nephew in Nelson Lancashire.

Exposure to Noise

Mrs H was employed, firstly as a battery filler for 2 years and then a weaver at Brierfield Mill from approximately August 1966 to Novemer 1980.  Mrs H recalls being exposed to excessive noise produced by weaving looms which often created noise well in excess of the safe limits recommended at the time.

What did we have to establish?

We had to establish the following basic matters:

  • Our client did have noise induced hearing loss
  • She was employed by the defendants
  • She was exposed to excessive levels of noise
  • The defendants owed our client a duty of care and were negligent in failing to provide hearing protection, training and supervision.

How did we help?

In order to progress the case we had to:

  • Discuss with our client how and where she worked to establish a picture of his exposure to noise.
  • Assess the time limits involved in the case
  • Arrange for her to undergo a hearing test
  • Establish whether the companies still existed and contact the relevant insures notifying of the claim.
  • Arrange a medical report
  • Correspond with the defendants insurers and advise them of their breach of duty and negligence
  • Advise the client on the prospects of the case and discuss how we had valued the claim.
  • Negotiate settlement

The Outcome

Eventually we were able to negotiate a settlement of £6,000 without the need for court proceeding for what was a mild hearing loss.

Client Comments

Mrs H said, “My hearing has gradually been deteriorating over the years. My daughter often complains that I don’t listen to her on the phone and constantly ask her to repeat herself. I also have trouble sleeping due to a constant ‘buzzing’ noise in my ears”.

“Looking back, I realise the weaving sheds in which I worked, when I worked for Smith and Nephew, were horrendously noisy. I had to lip read as a form of communication”.