Many workers who were employed by the CEGB have been exposed to excessive noise levels from working close to the turbines and other equipment within the power station. Some power stations introduced health and safety measures in the 1980’s and provided ear defenders. Many workers were also exposed to asbestos used to lag the pipes that supplied steam to and from the turbines.
Many people also worked for private contractors either when the plants were being built or maintained.
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:
- Babcock & Wilcox
- International Combustion Ltd
- Burton Upon Trent Power Station
- Rugeley Power Station
- Drax Power Station
If you worked in this industry and are concerned about you hearing then contact us today.