Wednesday, 20 June, 2012
An ex-potter, who suffered damage to his hearing due to the factory environment he was working in, has been awarded compensation for hearing loss at work six years after the company responsible for his injury closed.
Adrian Ward (42) from Longton, Staffordshire, worked for the John Tams Group at the Royal Grafton and Atlas Works in Longton for almost twenty hears. During his time with the company he was exposed to high levels of noise – particularly from the sirens attached to the kilns – without ever being offered any protection against damage to his hearing.
When the site closed in 2006, Adrian found work with JCB but found that, because of his industrial deafness, he could not hear what people were saying to him unless they were standing directly in front of him. After having his hearing loss examined by a doctor, Adrian sought legal advice about his eligibility to claim hearing loss at work compensation.
As the company had gone into liquidation, the compensation claim for hearing loss at work was made against the former insurers of the John Tams Group. The insurance company denied liability but Adrian pursued his claim and the case was recently heard at Stoke County Court.
The insurance company attempted to argue that the factory in which Adrian worked was simply not noisy and called evidence from former managers and engineers to prove their case. However just before the end of the scheduled four day hearing, Adrian was made an offer of compensation for hearing loss at work which was agreed upon.
This precedent could affect up to 70,000 former ceramic workers who were employed in the area who may have also suffered a work hearing injury. If you or a loved one have sustained a hearing loss at work injury after working in an excessively noisy environment, you are encouraged to speak with a solicitor at the first possible opportunity.
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