WE Solicitors have successfully represented a former employee of G Ratcliffe & Sons (Felts) Ltd of Shackleton Street, Burnley, Lancashire. He was employed during 1985/86, 1988/89 and then again from 1995 to 1998. He was employed on each occasion as a loom man and was exposed to the noise of the loom machinery, used to manufacture carpets.
The textile industry was extremely noisy due to the types of looms and weaving machinery that was used, in this case, to produce carpets and felt. 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.
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 nor was he ever made aware of the dangers of working in excessive 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. This was presented to the defendants, as part of the evidence, to support his claim.
If you worked for this company or any other textile firm and you have hearing loss or tinnitus then contact us. Some of the links 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.