Noise-induced hearing loss claims—summary of changes in the law since 1963
Produced in partnership with Sue Brown
Noise-induced hearing loss claims—summary of changes in the law since 1963

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note produced in partnership with Sue Brown provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss claims—summary of changes in the law since 1963
  • Statutory duty
  • Common law
  • Period of exposure—Before 1963
  • Period of exposure—1963 to 1972
  • Period of exposure—1972 to 1990
  • January 1990 to April 2006
  • April 2006 to date

There have been a number of developments in the law relating to noise exposure in the workplace since 1963 when it was first officially recognised as a problem. It is important to be aware of them when considering the prospects of success with an individual claim and also when drafting letters of claim and statements of case. Since most NIHL claimants’ exposure to noise spans several years, it is often necessary to plead different breaches for different periods of exposure.

Statutory duty

Historical versions of legislation can be requested by Lexis®Library subscribers here.

Section 29 of the Factories Act 1961 (previously section 5 of the Factories Act 1959)—to make and keep safe an employee’s place of work, so far as reasonably practicable.

Woodworking Machine Regulations 1974—regulation 44: where any person employed is likely to be exposed continuously for 8 hours to a sound level of 90 dB(A) (A-weighting expresses average noise levels, C-weighting is a measurement of peak, impact or explosive noises) or is likely to be subject to an equivalent or greater exposure to sound, the employer must take such measures as are reasonably practicable to reduce noise to the greatest extent which is reasonably practicable and make suitable ear protectors readily available.

Crown Proceedings (Armed Forces) Act 1987—important to remember because members of the armed forces can claim only for damage caused by noise exposure (and only

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