Noise Induced Hearing Loss Claim Against Ministry Of Defence’s Police & Guarding Agency

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Málaga
by Juanje

A Police Officer, currently serving as a Sergeant (Sgt) in the Ministry of Defence’s Police & Guarding Agency, has recently recovered 8,000.00 in a claim against his employer for Noise Induced Hearing Loss.

Sgt M has served as a Police Officer in the MOD’s Police and Guarding Agency since 1985. The Agency is responsible for protecting sites that are a concern to National Security and he has been stationed at numerous military bases and energy plants across the country. As a Firearms Officer, Sgt M was required to undergo regular firearms training, usually every 3-6 months, where he would fire his issued weapons on firing ranges. In the course of his employment, the Sgt M used a Browning 9mm pistol, a Sig Sauer 229 pistol, an SA80 Rifle and Heckler & Koch MP5 and MP7 Rifles.

In November 2008, Sgt M attended his GP Surgery complaining of hearing loss. At this time, he felt that his hearing issues may have been due to ear wax but he was told that his ears were clear of wax. Sgt M discussed his noise exposure at work with his GP who then referred him to his local ENT department for further investigations. The Consultant ENT Surgeon performed an audiometric test which indicated a pattern of hearing loss that was suggestive of noise induced hearing loss. In particular, the hearing loss in Sgt M’s left ear was worse than his right ear. As Sgt M is right handed and due to the way weapons are handled by right handed people, it is commonly the case that the left ear endures more exposure to noise as it is closer to the rifle barrel.

Sgt M approached Hilary Meredith Solicitors Occupational Disease Department in March 2009 and they commenced a claim against the Defendant for Noise Induced hearing loss. This was an interesting case because Sgt M had always worn hearing protection in the form of ear defenders during weapons training. The Defendant did not specifically accept or deny liability in the case, which made it difficult for the Claimant to assess the merits of his case. It disclosed extensive documentation relating to noise levels of the various weapons fired and the hearing protection provided which had to fully reviewed and considered.

A medical report of a Consultant ENT surgeon was produced in support of his claim which confirmed the diagnosis of noise induced hearing loss. After disclosing this report to the Defendant’s representatives, a settlement was agreed in the sum of 8,000.00 and the case was settled before formal Court proceedings were commenced.

Throughout the Claimant’s employment, the Defendant failed to ensure that Sgt M underwent regular hearing tests and therefore, Sgt M was not alerted to a decline in his hearing earlier. As Sgt M always wore the hearing protection issued by the Defendant, this case also raised interesting arguments as to whether the equipment was in fact adequate to protect him from the extreme levels of noise produced by the weapons he fired which resulted in noise induced hearing loss.

Sgt M commented that ” Hilary Meredith Solicitors provided an excellent service throughout my case.”

If you have worked as a firearms officer in the uniformed services or have had firearms training and you now experience hearing loss that you think could have been caused by this noise exposure, you should contact the Occupational Disease Team at Hilary Meredith Solicitors without delay.

Written by Olwyn Kinsey
for Noise Induced Hearing Loss legal company Hilary Meredith Solicitors.

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