Salon worker awarded £240K compensation after employer forced her to remain in a building where a faulty fire alarm was going off

A salon worker has been awarded £241,277 after suffering damage to her hearing due to being forced to remain in a building for hours with a faulty fire alarm going off.

Haesel McDonald, a 24 year old from Inverness, had a part time job at Indigo Sun salon in Stirling, while in college.

In 2015, on Saturday, December 15, the Ms McDonald was at work alone when a faulty fire alarm in the building went off.

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The decision was made at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

In the court’s judgement, they explain: “Around 5-10 minutes after the noise began the pursuer telephoned her manager.

"Mr (Steven) Campbell (the manager) indicated that he would come to the salon but made it clear that in the meantime the pursuer was to remain where she was and carry on working.”

It was two hours later before he arrived at the business and covered the alarm devices with tape to dull the noise, adding just before he left that he would call an engineer.

She had already been exposed to a constant noise level of 87.5 dB.

The judgement stated: “She had a headache and ringing in her ears. The ringing was tinnitus.”

She sought medical attention after her hearing didn’t recover, and was told that she had suffered permanent damage and was offered a hearing aid.

The court added: “The pursuer graduated from college with first class honours in contemporary dance.

“However, due to her hearing impairment the pursuer has lost confidence and feels unable to pursue a career in dance.”

The compensation granted will cover the cost of specialised private hearing aids that would help the Ms McDonald pursue activities that had been restricted after the damage.

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