Successful workers compensation claim for
voice injury in call centre

We recovered significant compensation for our client who permanently lost his voice while working in a call centre.

 

Facts

Our client had been working for his employer at a call centre for a number of years. He was consistently one of their best performers. Over time, our client noticed that his voice would become husky and coarse. Initially, his voice would recover after a few days, but this gradually worsened to the point where it would no longer recover at all. This resulted in our client being unable to perform his normal role at the call centre, making sales calls all day every day.

 

Our client came to us because he was concerned about certain circumstances around the workplace which made him conclude that the system of work was unsafe, and this resulted in his injuries.

 

Our investigations

We spoke with a number of witnesses and reviewed a large amount of the employer’s documentary material in order to piece together what happened.

 

First of all, based on witness statements and also the relevant call logs, it was clear that our client (like all other employees) was required to make a very large number of calls every day. In other words, he was using his voice all the time. Astonishingly, the employer had the radio on with loud music playing in the background. It was ON all the time.

 

The employer said that this system was still safe because it provided all workers with “noise cancelling headphones”. The headphones were not noise cancelling. The microphones had noise cancelling capability, but that only protects the person on the other end (i.e. the customer who is on the phone with the workers, and who as a result probably won’t hear as much from the loud background radio). However, this does not protect the worker, who still has to speak louder in order to hear their own voice next to the radio.

 

In addition, the employer had been requested on multiple occasions to change the system and stop using the radio, but it refused.

 

It should also be noted that there are in fact national and international guidelines and safe work practices specifically relating to call centres. They deal with issues such as background noise and equipment to be used to make sure the system is safe. Even though these standards exist, in practice, many employers who operate call centres do not undertake any audits or risk assessments to check if their system satisfies the requirements of these guides.

 

Overall, we concluded that there was ample evidence to prove that the system of work was unsafe.

 

Medical evidence

In our personal injury matters, we routinely work together with highly experienced and respected specialists . In this case, we worked with an ENT (ear nose and throat surgeon) and asked him to examine our client and give a report for legal purposes.

 

Our specialist confirmed that our client suffered permanent damage to his voice and was no longer suitable to work in a call centre. This is incredibly damaging for someone who had built a full-time career working as a call centre sales employee.

 

Outcome

The employer was initially trying to strenuously defend our case, but step by step, the mounting evidence turned out to be indefensible, and it clearly painted a picture of an unsafe workplace. Ultimately, the employee’s insurer decided to resolve the claim with us, out of court.

Free book offer: what to expect in your injury claim

Many firms try to rush you to sign up with them without carefully considering your options. We encourage you to first learn about your personal injury claim. You should ask yourself:

  • How do you calculate your compensation amount?
  • How should you choose your lawyer? Do you just choose by firm name regardless of who is really in charge of your matter? Has your lawyer ever argued a case in court?
  • What is a no win – no fee agreement? How much will it cost?

Our book is available to you free of charge. You don’t have to be a client to receive this book. Head to the order page and we will be happy to send you a copy straight away.

Oszkar Denes Seven Deadly Sins that can wreck your personal injury claim

25% Cap on legal costs

In all of our personal injury compensation matters, we act on a  No Win – No Fee basis. What that means is, there’s no upfront cost to you.

 

In Queensland, most compensation firms will charge you 50% of your compensation amount – the maximum allowed at law. This is very expensive. Our fee is different. We will cap our fee at 25% . Remember also, these are the maximum fees we will charge. If our fee in your claim is less, then we charge the lesser amount.

 

Before you engage us, we will provide you a written Disclosure Notice and a Client Service Agreement. These documents set out in detail the service we provide, as well as our fees and outlays. Before you sign anything, you can take these documents home with you, and study them with your family. You can take as long as you need, there is never any pressure from us. If anything in these documents doesn’t make sense to you, we can discuss it with you and you are free to ask another lawyer to give you advice.  And remember, no win – no fee agreements come with a 5 day cooling off period for extra peace of mind.