Military noise-induced hearing loss claims

 

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If you have served in the armed forces then you may have had no choice but to work in a noisy environment. You may have gotten used to the noise – as most do – but there can be serious consequences from the excessive noise exposure if proper safety measures are not followed.

If you have suffered hearing loss or damage whilst serving in the military due to excessive noise and employer negligence towards adequate hearing protection, then you may be eligible to make a claim to compensation.

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What is noise-induced hearing loss?

Long-term exposure to volumes that are above safe limits, or a single exposure to an extremely loud sound can cause damage to your hearing, which is known as noise-induced hearing loss.

These sounds can include, but are not limited to:

  • Gunfire
  • Artillery fire
  • Explosions
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Brass bands
  • Aircraft noise
  • Vehicle noise
  • Mortars

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 define the level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones. The DSE state that this level is:

85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure) and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers’ health and provide them with information and training is now 80 decibels.

There is also an exposure limit value of 87 decibels, taking account of any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection, above which workers must not be exposed.

What symptoms might I have?

With noise-induced hearing loss you may experience:

  • Deafness
  • Muffled sounds
  • Inability to hear different frequencies – most commonly high pitched sounds

Tinnitus (a constant or intermittent ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other noise in your ears) and Hyperacusis (an increased sensitivity to certain frequency and volume ranges of sound) are also types of hearing damage suffered by members of the armed services.

These types of hearing damage can make it difficult to communicate with others, case problems with sleeping and may also impact your mental health.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms after exposure to noise due to your work in the armed services and were not given adequate hearing protection, then we may be able to help you to make a claim for compensation.

How should I have been protected?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), like all employers, has a duty of care to its employees and must take all reasonable steps to protect it employees while they are at work – and this includes protecting your hearing.

Avoiding loud noises is not always possible whilst in the armed forces and so it is imperative that the MoD provides adequate hearing protection to all employees when it is necessary and take all appropriate steps to assess noise and the risks caused, exercise noise control, provide properly maintained hearing protection if requested and identify areas where hearing protection is likely to be needed.

The number of hearing damage claims being made by members of the armed forces is increasing. If you or a loved one has experienced hearing damage, then please get in touch to discuss your claim…

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