Have You Worked for Sunderland Shipbuilders?

Do you suffer with hearing problems?

Have you ever thought the two might be linked?

If you answered yes to these questions then you might be eligible for compensation if your employer failed to provide you with appropriate hearing protection.

Sunderland Shipbuilders have admitted to a breach of duty for non-compliance with legislation after failing to provide adequate protection to their employees, causing noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus. The company, which was founded by William Doxford in the 1800’s, was formally known as William Doxford & Sons Ltd. However, it has since undergone a series of name changes.

In 1961 it was renamed Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding & Engineering Company and in 1966 it changed again to become Doxford and Sunderland Ltd. Court Line
then took over the company in 1972 and renamed it Sunderland Shipbuilders. It was later privatised when it merged with the Austin & Pickersgill Shipbuilding Company in 1986 to form North East Shipbuilders, which ceased trading two years later in 1988.

The shipbuilding company has always been located at the Pallion Yard in Sunderland which underwent a refurbishment in the 1970’s providing a whole new ship building service. The company covered every aspect of ship building and ship repair, including working in engine rooms and control rooms to working on deck carrying out joinery or construction work. Whatever the job role within the company, exposure to high levels of noise was likely constant throughout the working day.

Sunderland Shipbuilders had a duty of care to their employees to provide them with a safe place to work and the necessary equipment to protect them. The company failed to provide any hearing protection and as a consequence employees’ have been diagnosed with noise induced hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

When a person is exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, symptoms of noise induced hearing loss also referred to as ‘NIHL’ will increase gradually. Over time, the sounds a person hears may become distorted or muffled and it may be difficult for the person to understand speech. Someone with NIHL may not even be aware of the loss, but it can be detected with a hearing test. Tinnitus is the medical name for the perception of noise in one ear, both ears or in their head. People with tinnitus can experience different types of sound. Most people describe it as a ringing sound but other sounds may include: buzzing, humming and whistling. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss/tinnitus.

If you believe you are suffering with noise induced hearing loss after working for Sunderland Shipbuilders , please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Industrial Disease Team. Hampson Hughes Solicitors has already brought successful claims against the company and can give you further advice about making a claim.

You can contact us on 0151 236 1222 or email us at [email protected]. Our dedicated team will be on hand from 9:00am – 17:30pm to answer all your questions and to start you on the right track to claiming that compensation you deserve.

Sunderland Shipbuilders