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Dec 7, 2016

WE Solicitors Successfully Represent Former Employee of C V Fabrics and Carrington Viyellawith his claim for Industrial Deafness.

The Claimant was employed from August 1974 to March 1992, by Carrington Fabrics Ltd and later, CV Woven Fabrics Ltd. As far as the claimant was concerned, he was employed on a continuous basis. He was employed as a quality controller, working on a full time basis.
Our client started at Douglas Mill in Standish and was based within the Production Department, which was mainly weaving, but also some yarn production. He was required to go to different mills owned by the company during his training. He would say that he spent around 80% of his time in the weaving departments at New Mill in Eccleston, Chorley and the remainder of his time between the weaving departments at Tarleton Mill at Tarleton, near Southport and at Douglas Mill, which was in Standish, Wigan. There was another mill in Rochdale and one in Carlisle, however; the claimant only went to these on a couple of occasions.
As a trainee, the claimant’s duties involved shadowing a qualified quality controller and learning the job. Once he was qualified, he was based within the quality control department and his work was delegated by his manager.  The textile industry was extremely noisy due to the types of looms and weaving machinery that was used.  It has long been known that noise can permanently damage hearing and as far back as 1963 guidance was provided to all employers that they needed to provide suitable and adequate hearing protection to ensure their workers’ hearing was not damaged.
The majority of the weaving looms were old shuttle looms, but at Douglas Mill, there were also water jet looms.  The claimant recalls there were around 500 looms in each mill and they would be set out within the weaving sheds in rows. He recalls that one weaver had to look after around 40 to 50 looms, but this was increased over time, to try and increase productivity. Each row would be around 3 feet apart, so whilst he was patrolling, he would be very close to the loom machines. If he had to shut one down to work on it, he would still be exposed to the noise of hundreds of looms around him. The working environment was very noisy, he advises, and in order to communicate with a colleague, he would have to shout in their ear or gesture and lip read.
Most companies brought in some form of hearing policy but in most instances this was never enforced and the provision of hearing equipment was hit and miss. It was only in the early to mid 1990’s that many employers awakened to the dangers of noise. Unfortunately there is still a perception of “noise is part of the job” and “we all go deaf at some point so it doesn’t matter”.
During our client’s employment, he was never provided with hearing protection and nor was he ever made aware of the dangers of working in noise. Our client now suffers from mild noise induced hearing loss, which was confirmed when WE Solicitors arranged a medical assessment of his hearing condition.
If you worked for this company or any other textile firm and you have hearing loss or tinnitus then contact us. Some of the information on the link below may help make your mind up on whether you want to seek civil compensation for the damage caused to your hearing and the cost of hearing aids.