Reliance on subjective hearing admissions in NIHL cases


In NIHL claims it is typical for Claimants to describe the communication difficulty at a distance in their working environment. Such evidence is not, in our opinion, sufficient for engineering analysis.

Subjective estimates of communication difficulty at a distance are not reliable indicators of noise level as this is affected by a range of factors including the vocal strength of the speaker, the hearing ability of the receiver, the character as well as the level of background noise.

Another factor to consider is whether the use of recollections refers to the noisiest periods of the working day and are, therefore misleading as an indicator of excessive daily exposure where the noise is intermittent.

However, difficulty in understanding speech can be helpful to indicate a noise problem in a workplace, as a trigger for further investigation.

Reliance on subjective comments as to the difficulty of communication is the last resort when estimating noise exposure, and actual noise measurements or relevant published information is always preferable if these are available and relevant.

If you want to know more about reliance on subjective hearing admissions in NIHL cases, please contact [email protected] or on 01530 412777.

As always, if you have any issues associated with noise or vibration please contact the relevant experts at Finch Consulting.

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