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May 30, 2022

WE successfully represent former industrial cleaner.


WE Solicitors recently represented Mr B who, from the mid 1980’s, was employed by industrial cleaning companies.  The companies were called Newlife Cleaning Systems Ltd and Universal Engineer Consultants Limited.  The latter were a demolition, decommissioning and decontamination company based in Barnard Castle, County Durham.

During the course of his employment with both companies the claimant was regularly and frequently exposed to harmful levels of noise when doing industrial cleaning work at third party premises.  The harmful levels of noise were produced when he was operating the diesel engine used to drive the high pressure pumps.  Alternatively he would be at the lance end of the equipment where he would be either slurry jetting, dry blasting or using a high pressure water jet or needle gun.  On occasion he would be exposed to noise from industrial vacuum cleaners. 

Approximately 75% of the jobs Mr B worked on involved cleaning the interiors of confined spaces such as tanks and silos, inspection pits, water towers, air receivers, ships hulls or engine rooms which exacerbated the noise levels.

As a result of his exposure to noise during the course of his employment with the two companies, the claimant’s hearing was damaged.  Once a person’s hearing is damaged it cannot be repaired.  It is important that all employers undertake risk assessments identifying potential hazards to noise and provide staff with hearing protection and training to raise awareness of the dangers of noise exposure.  Sadly in our client’s case, hearing protection was only provided on an ad hoc basis, it was never enforced and as such our clients hearing was permanently damaged.

The case was challenging in that we were unable to locate all of the insurance history for the companies who employed Mr B and because of this, he did not receive full damages.  This is often the case where companies have long since gone out of business and insurers cannot be found.  Unfortunately if we cannot locate insurers for some of the period of employment there is no one to compensate that period of the claim and that time apportioned amount is deducted from the settlement.  This is usually dealt with in percentage terms of the overall period of noise exposure.

If you have worked in a similar industry or you are concerned your hearing has been damaged due to working in noise, please contact us on 0800 294 3065 to discuss your particular circumstances.