A DUMBARTON whisky bottling plant worker has been awarded more than £45,000 in compensation after her employer didn’t do enough to protect her hearing from deafening workplace noise.

Margaret Denny, 63, was given the sum after winning her legal battle at the All Scotland Sheriff Personal Injury Court. 

She raised the legal action after sustaining permanent hearing loss whilst working at Chivas Brothers and its predecessors Allied Distillers.

Her lawyers told Sheriff Kenneth Campbell KC that her employers didn’t do enough to mitigate noise levels at the plant. 

Ms Denny started working at the Kilmalid plant in 1990 and continued working in a bottling hall at the site until 2018. She is now an office worker there.

But she wasn’t given any hearing protection until 1996, and the court heard how the original ear-plugs were “itchy” and that Ms Denny had to extract them from time to time to scratch her ear.  

The ear-plugs also occasionally popped out of Ms Denny’s ears whilst she was working, and her hearing wasn’t protected when these things happened. 

Risk assessments carried out at the facility in the 2000s found that noise levels in the hall were in excess of 85 decibels.

That figure is 15 times more intense than the 70-decibel level considered safe by the World Health Organisation. 

The court also heard how the firm took “no engineering measures” to reduce the noise levels at the facility.

The court also heard how the pursuer has worn hearing aids provided by the NHS since 2019.

Before that, she had the TV at high volume in order to hear, and did not use the radio because she was not comfortable with loud music.

Her legal team told the court that Ms Denny has tinnitus and no longer enjoys socialising because she can’t keep track of conversations when more than one person is involved. 

The condition - which she described as a buzzing sound -  also affects her ability to get to sleep at night.

In a written judgement published by the court on Wednesday, Sheriff Campbell awarded Ms Denny a total of nearly £45,500 in compensation.

He wrote: “The pursuer has developed noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of the defender’s fault and negligence.

“The pursuer has suffered a loss as a result of the defender’s fault and negligence.

“The pursuer is entitled to damages for her losses caused by the defender’s fault and negligence in the sum of £45,494.13.”