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A factory worker has secured compensation after an accident at work caused permanent damage to his hearing.
The 54-year-old man was working on a factory production line when the accident happened. There were height restrictions in that part of the factory and he hit his head on a steel conveyor belt that was only five feet above the ground.
He was not wearing any form of head protection at the time, even though all employees who worked on the production line were meant to be provided with hard hats. Nor had his employer given him any training on how to do his job safely.
The blow to his head caused him to suffer from chronic tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the ears which often results from exposure to loud noise but can stem from a head or neck injury. He also began having severe migraines.
After four months' sickness absence, he attempted to return to work, even though he continued to suffer as a result of his injury. On one occasion, his symptoms were so bad that he had to be rushed to hospital as he was unable to swallow on account of the pain. The symptoms persist and he still has difficulty sleeping.
After taking legal advice, he commenced a personal injury claim against his employer on the ground that the accident could have been prevented had it fulfilled its duty to provide suitable health and safety training and adequate protective headgear. An out-of-court settlement was reached to compensate him for his injury and resultant loss of earnings.