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A factory worker who sustained a blow to his head which resulted in the onset of tinnitus has received financial compensation after making a successful personal injury claim against his negligent employer.
Supported in his pursuit of employer liability by both a leading personal injury solicitor and the Unite Union (of which he was a member), 54-year old Paul Kelly’s hearing was permanently impaired as a consequence of the work accident.
According to the findings of this particular case – of which ultimately led to Kelly being awarded the pay-out in recognition of the injury he sustained being in no way his fault – the accident played out whilst the claimant was working in an area of his employer’s factory that was governed by height restrictions; which should have been adhered to at all times.
Unfortunately, Kelly explained that he’s never received the appropriate safety training from his employer, together with not having been provided with a hard hat which was stipulated as a vital piece of protective equipment which if worn could have led to the accident being avoided according to experts.
As it was Kelly banged his head on a steel conveyor belt which was situated just five feet from the ground, the initial impact of which was later medically proven to have triggered his tinnitus diagnosis.
The physical upshot of this has seen the injured party suffer from constant ringing in his ears, together with experiencing what Kelly describes as ‘severe migraines.’ The pain and associated discomfort was so significant that the claimant was said to have been forced into taking four months off work, while even on his return his symptoms were so extreme and work-compromising that on the one occasion Kelly was admitted to hospital due to being unable to swallow on account of the severe pain he found himself in.
Speaking to a news source of late with direct regards to this period in his working life, Kelly went on record as saying; “Years after the accident I am still suffering. I have been in and out of hospital and couldn’t return to work for months, which meant I was really struggling to get by financially. I find it difficult to sleep at night and at its worst my condition can only be described as debilitating.”
The claimant also confirmed that his accident wasn’t necessarily an isolated incident and that previously co-workers would hit their heads on the aforementioned conveyor belt yet no existing health and safety protocol or practice to which the company was contractually-obliged to uphold was seemingly put into place by his employers to counter this risk. And Kelly fervently believes that had he been wearing a hard hat at the time of the accident he wouldn’t have suffered the subsequent pain and discomfort which he has done since, and which has impinged on his ability to earn a living.
Unite Union’s Regional Legal Officer, Kevin Hepworth also added his opinion on Kelly’s specific case, which the union professionally supported from the outset. Hepworth said; “Tinnitus often develops when people have been exposed to loud noises over a long period of time, but up until the accident Paul had no problems with his hearing. Now he lives with constant ringing and suffers painful migraines, which could have so easily been avoided had his employer actually upheld its own health and safety rules".
In summary Unite’s spokesperson in this instance concluded; “Unfortunately, Paul’s tinnitus is unlikely to ever truly subside and so we made sure that his employer paid the compensation owed to him so that he is not at a loss financially to date and into the future.
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