Sunderland Shipbuilders

Have you worked for Sunderland Shipbuilders?

Do you suffer with hearing problems?

Have you ever thought the two might be linked?

If you have been employed with Sunderland Shipbuilders between the years of 1963 and 1988 and are suffering with your hearing, it may be that your employer has been negligent by not providing you with appropriate hearing protection and you can now make a claim for compensation as a result of an industrial injury.

On several cases Sunderland Shipbuilders have now admitted breach of duty for non-compliance with legislation after failing to provide adequate hearing protection to their employees, causing noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus.

The company was founded by William Doxford, formally named William Doxford & Sons Ltd in the 1800′s and has since undergone a series of name changes. In 1961 it was renamed Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding & Engineering Company and again in 1966 became Doxford and Sunderland Ltd. Court Line then took over the company in 1972 and renamed it Sunderland Shipbuilders. The company was then privatised in 1986 when it merged with the Austin & Pickersgill Shipbuilding Company to form North East Shipbuilders; however the company 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 with the company, exposure to high levels of noise was constant throughout a working day.

Sunderland Shipbuilders had a duty of care to their employees to provide them with a safe place of work and the necessary safety equipment to protect them at work. The company failed to provide any hearing protection and as a consequence employee’s 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 through working for Sunderland Shipbuilders and would like further advice about making a claim for noise induced hearing loss, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Industrial Disease Team at Hampson Hughes Solicitors, who have brought successful claims against the company.

You can contact us on 0151 236 1222 or email us at and our dedicated team will be on hand from 09:00 – 17:30 to answer all your questions and to start you on the right track to claiming that compensation you deserve.

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