WE Solicitors have represented clients who have worked in the automotive industry. These clients were exposed to noise throughout the course of their employment and in most cases protective hearing equipment was only introduced in the early 1980’s. Parts of the factories known to be noisy were:
- Press shop
- Productions lines with pneumatic wrenches
- Overhead conveyors
What was my employer required to do?
Prior to 1963, in most instances, employers can argue that they were not required to provide you with any hearing protection and no liability will attach to them. This means that you cannot seek compensation for exposure to noise prior to 1963, in nearly all cases.
However in 1963, most employers were sent a copy of a health and safety leaflet; “Noise and the Worker”. From this date, employers had to ensure that protective hearing equipment was issued to workers who worked for 8 hours a day, in noise over a certain level. As the noise levels increased, the period of time to which you could be safely exposed to certain levels of noise reduced.
Various legislation was brought into affect to safeguard workers from hearing loss and employers were required to do the following from 2005 onwards:
- Assess the risks to employees from noise at work;
- Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
- Provide employees with hearing protection , if noise reduction cannot be achieved through other methods;
- Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
- Provide employees with information, instruction and training;
- Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.
In many cases employers did little to ensure the safety of their employees and often simply provided an occasional pair of ear plugs, without training, guidance or assessing their suitability.
Due to these failings, WE Solicitors have been successful against a number of bodies and companies in the industry including:
- Vauxhall Motors
- British Leyland
- Land Rover
- Rolls Royce
- Midland Motors
If you worked in this industry and are concerned about you hearing then contact us today.