Second hearing day planned as Cumbrian shipworkers seek help

Scores of Cumbrian shipworkers could finally get help after having their hearing affected while at work.

Around 200 retired and current workers flooded in to a free hearing test and information day at Barrow’s Dock Museum.

Now industrial injury specialists, Attwood Solicitors, is planning a second free hearing day at the museum on 10 September.

Experts say thousands of older and retired workers are suffering hearing loss after being subjected to high levels of noise while working in heavy industries during the 1970s and 80s.

Shipbuilding workers can be particularly affected with a Scandinavian study showing 50 per cent had hearing difficulties.

Ashley Attwood, Principal Solicitor, said:  “Our Barrow hearing day on 10 August generated a great deal of interest. Around half of the people tested by our audiologist on the day appeared to be suffering difficulties as a result of their working environment, while we have still to carry-out tests with at least 10 other people.

“We saw nearly 200 people and have taken many new clients on who tested positively for Noise Induced Hearing Loss after having a free hearing test.

“We will now work with them to assess whether they can get compensation to help them through the problems they are suffering.

“The response from workers in the Barrow area to the hearing day means that we will hold a second session at the Dock Museum on 10 September.”

John Lamb, a former welder at the Vickers shipyard is seeking compensation for hearing loss after attending the first Barrow hearing day.

He said: “I worked as a welder and was exposed to excessive noise for most of the using pneumatic caulking hammers, high cycle grinders, needle guns and other loud tools.

“It was extremely noisy and there was no hearing protection available at all until the 1980s. Even then, Vickers simply provided boxes of ear plugs so that employees could help themselves but they were always going missing so there was never enough to go around”

Almost all of the new clients taken on by Attwood Solicitors worked for Vickers in Barrow. Their jobs titles included joiners, welders, fitters, scaffolders, fabricators, and a technical fabricator

Mr Attwood added: “Many workers who experienced hearing loss while working in extremely noisy environments simply put up with it.

“Often people suffer in silence and don’t believe they have a right to compensation for the pain and inconvenience caused to them.”

Attwood Solicitors have already helped more than 100 industrial workers after holding similar clinics in the north Midlands and Cheshire. Compensation levels vary with clients receiving up to £10,000.

Hearing experts say any sounds above 80 decibels is considered dangerous and many older people are now suffering from damage caused before current health and safety standards were introduced. Eighty decibels is about the equivalent of an average alarm clock going off.

“Employees may wrongly believe it is too late to claim compensation,” said Mr Attwood. “People perhaps don’t realise that even if the damage was caused many years ago they may still be entitled to get help and compensation.”


For further information contact Ashley Attwood on 0800 587 3231or log on to

Notes to Editors:

Attwood Solicitors are personal injury specialists based in Stoke-on-Trent.

More than £2.25 million has been successfully claimed by Attwood Solicitors to help people who have suffered in an accident.

The second Barrow hearing day will run from 10am until 4pm.