A factory worker left with serious hearing difficulties after his employer failed to provide him with the appropriate protective equipment has been awarded a four-figure payout.
Paul Grain, 57, suffered permanent damage to his hearing caused by the heavy machinery he came into contact with while working for engineering firm Hall and Pickles in Sheffield between 1973 and 1988.
He now has to wear hearing aids 10 years earlier than he would have expected to after being exposed to excessive levels of noise from milling, grinding and drilling machines at the firm.
Paul said he was upset by the loss of his hearing and the effect tinnitus, a ringing and buzzing sensation in his ears, has had on his life.
He instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell which secure the settlement to cover the cost of the specialist hearing aids he now needs.
During his career, Paul, of Lady Croft Lane, Hemingfield, said he was never warned the noise could affect his hearing or provided with any protection equipment.
“The working environment at Hall and Pickles was always so noisy especially when all 50 or 60 machines on the factory floor were operating at once. It was impossible to hear someone over the racket if they were speaking normally and I always had to shout and raise my voice to communicate with anyone."
He said his hearing had deteriorated in the last three years and he had noticed little things like having to turn the television up, not hearing the phone or the doorbell, and asking people to repeat what they were saying up to three times.
"It could have been prevented in the early years, but that's life. It's not very nice having to ask people to repeat things two or three times."
Sarah Tagg, the industrial deafness specialist who represented Paul, said: “The cost of specialist hearing aids can run into thousands and even then will not provide perfect hearing for the wearer – meaning other adaptations need to be made, such as specially developed telephones, doorbells and alarm systems.”