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Deafness resulting from exposure to excessive noise is known as 'Noise Induced Hearing Loss' (NIHL). Hearing loss that is directly related to the work environment is commonly referred to as 'industrial deafness' and may occur if you have been exposed to excessive levels of noise during your working life.

Noise Induced Hearing Loss can have a significant impact on both your personal and professional lives. If you have suffered hearing loss due to the conditions in which you work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our specialist industrial deafness solicitors to start your claim today.

What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise Induced Hearing Loss can be either partial or complete. Exposure to loud noises – for example those commonly experienced in industrial workplaces – can permanently damage your sensitivity to sound or cause ringing in the ears.

NIHL may be caused by a sudden incident or by gradual or repeated exposure to loud noise. In either case, the loud sound can cause damage to your hearing and potentially result in a permanent injury. Whilst treatment does exist to alleviate the symptoms and aid with the loss of sound sensitivity (e.g. hearing aids), there is no cure to hearing loss itself. Therefore, pursuing an injury claim may be the only way to secure rightful compensation that can help you better cope with this change.

As well as causing permanent deafness, exposure to noise in the workplace can also cause other permanent issues related to your hearing, including a high-pitched ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. If this applies to you, then you may have a case for compensation.

Can I Claim Compensation?

Symptoms of industrial deafness can be complex, which is why you should always seek professional medical advice in the first instance. To proceed with any NIHL injury claim, a report from an independent medical expert is essential.

The law states that your employer has a duty of care over you in the workplace. This means that they must protect workers from workplace risks, keeping employees safe from injuries and industrial illnesses. This includes ensuring that appropriate safety precautions are in place, for example through providing ear protection and training for any employees that may be at risk. If they have failed to uphold this duty of care through exposing you to conditions that may cause or worsen industrial deafness, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim. 

In many cases, your symptoms may render you unable to carry out your duties at work, meaning you may need to take time off work to seek treatment. If so, you may be able to claim for any loss of earnings as part of your final compensation amount. ​

Who Is Most At Risk?

Due to the role of the work environment in causing industrial deafness, those working in certain industries and job roles are statistically more likely to develop NIHL. Areas of work in which employees are most likely to suffer from industrial deafness include:

  • Power stations
  • Steelworks
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Shipbuilding
  • Quarrying
  • Factory work

The above list is not exhaustive as noise is an inescapable aspect of many industries. If you believe you may have developed NIHL through working in any of the industries above, or if you're suffering from NIHL as a result of working in any other work environment, contact our personal injury experts today to find out how we can help.

Are There Any Time Limits?

Due to the degenerative nature of deafness, it is important to pursue industrial deafness compensation as soon as possible. Like most other personal injury claims, UK law states that the legal time limit to file court proceedings is three years. This time limit starts from the date that you became aware, or could have been aware, that your hearing-related symptoms were significant and might have been caused by exposure to loud noise at a current or former workplace.

Due to the nature of industrial deafness, the symptoms of NIHL can go undetected for a considerable period of time. As such, you may not be diagnosed with the condition until years after working in a potentially harmful environment. For this reason, it’s important to pursue an injury compensation claim sooner rather than later as this can help increase your chances of success.

How Industrial Deafness Solicitors Can Help

Industrial deafness can be an extremely complex condition, so seeking the right legal assistance to support your compensation claim is crucial. 

At Smith Partnership, our specialist personal injury team have years of practical experience in successfully pursuing claims of this kind. Whatever your circumstances may be, we apply our knowledge and expertise to secure the compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Smith Partnership?

Our dedicated team are on hand to help – even if your former workplace is no longer in business. We offer a team of leading experts across LeicesterDerbyStoke-on-TrentSwadlincote and Burton upon Trent, each with extensive experience in handling industrial deafness claims. 

We pride ourselves on providing a straight-talking, jargon-free approach, ensuring you fully understand your position and options throughout every stage of the process. Depending on the circumstances, we may also be able to pursue your claim on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement, minimising any financial risk to you.

Contact our team today

To find out how our expert team of solicitors can help you, contact us today on 0330 123 1229, send us an email via or complete our contact form.


Yes, we will always offer you a free initial interview and free initial advice, even if we then conclude that we are unable to take your case on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. It will never cost you anything to seek initial advice from us and you have nothing to lose in doing so.

No, your compensation is tax free, although you can only recover loss of earnings net of income tax and national insurance.

This varies considerably depending on several factors, including how cooperative the defendant and their insurers are, and whether they are prepared to admit liability for your claim at an early stage, but also depending on your recovery period and length of time that it takes to obtain the full medical evidence to support your case. On average, and depending on these factors, most cases take anything between six months and three years to conclude, although complex cases can take longer than this if they proceed all the way to a court hearing.

A success fee is the element of legal costs that we are entitled to charge if we win the case, to compensation us for having taken a risk that we would not be paid if we had been unsuccessful, as not all of our costs are recoverable from the Defendant. It is the success fee that you are asked to contribute out of your compensation as we are no longer able to recover that element of legal fees from the defendant, even if we win the case, because of legal changes made by the government in 2013. The Success fee is capped at 25% but may be less depending on the risks associated with your claim and/or the amount of work we do to finalise it. 

Your claim will cost you nothing at all if we are unsuccessful as you will be protected from having to pay any legal costs in those circumstances. If we are successful with your claim, you will be asked to make a contribution towards your legal costs out of your compensation, but this deduction will be 25% (the Success Fee, see below for more information) and is to compensate us for the risk that if your claim was unsuccessful then we would not be paid at all. Your basic legal costs, if we are successful, are recovered from your opponent, but are capped dependant on the complexity and value of your claim.  If there are any legal costs not paid by your opponent, then they may be deducted from the compensation that you receive. We will discuss this with you beforehand, so that you know what to expect at the conclusion of your claim and will always strive to keep any deductions to your compensation to a minimum.

Once you become aware that your symptoms may have been caused by exposures at work you should simply seek legal advice as soon as possible on whether you have a potentially good claim for compensation and how best to proceed with that.

Industrial deafness is significant hearing loss or tinnitus caused through damage from noise exposure, often in a work environment without adequate hearing protection.