A process worker has won £15,000 compensation for his employer’s failure to protect him from excessive exposure to noise, causing him to develop permanent hearing loss and require the use of hearing aids.

Gerald Cox, 52, worked as a process operator for LG Philips Displays in the Belmont Industrial Estate near Durham between 1980 and 2005, when the factory closed.

No protection provided

He says that over the 25 years he worked for LG Philips Displays his employer failed to provide him with the protection he needed in a factory with excessive levels of noise.

“It was only since I left the factory that I’ve realised the damage that’s been done,” he says. “The biggest effect on me has been the seclusion, you just find you go into a world of your own. I know it’s been very frustrating for my wife to have to shout at me just so I can hear her.”

“The loss of hearing has had a huge impact on my quality of life. For example, if we go out to a restaurant and I have my hearing aids in I have to listen to the entire room’s conversation, but if I take them out I’m secluded again. It makes things very difficult.”

Nicola Waugh from Thompsons Solicitors says LG Philips Display had a duty to protect Mr Cox from excessive exposure to noise in the workplace.

“Working in a factory does not mean signing up to have your hearing permanently damaged. Mr Cox’s employer failed him in that respect, and it’s only fair that he has been compensated for a loss of hearing that he will have to cope with for the rest of his life.”