Local Authorities

Local authorities employ thousands of people throughout the country. Like any employer they are under an obligation to ensure that their employees and workers are safe and well equipped throughout their working day. Unfortunately for many years, local councils failed to provide hearing protection or if they did, failed to provide training to workers or enforce the use of the hearing protection.

We have dealt with claims for those employed in the following areas:

  • Refuse collectors and bin men
  • Parks and gardens staff using strimmers and chain saws
  • Road sweepers and maintenance staff
  • Road workers
  • Printing room staff
  • Call centre staff

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 before 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 made successful claims against a number of local councils:

  • Leicester City Council
  • Gateshead MBC
  • Easington District Council
  • Derbyshire County Council
  • Wrexham MBC
  • Barnsley MBC
  • Wigan MBC
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Trafford MBC
  • Rochdale MBC

If you worked in this industry and are concerned about your hearing then contact us today.

Click here to see a case study of a former client who worked in this industry.