Bomb Disposal Operator Awarded £48,750
What was the Case?
Our client was employed within the British Army as a Bomb Disposal Operator. During their employment, they were situated at the Carver Barracks from November 1997 until September 2018. During this time he was exposed to loud noises. This was in the form of bomb detonations, tanks, plant machinery, helicopters and firearms. He was not provided with hearing protection due to needing to stay on high alert. As a result, our client has suffered hearing loss in the armed forces.
Bomb Detonation Resulting in Hearing Loss in the Armed Forces
During their employment, they were required to travel to numerous locations to carry out the disposal of bombs. These bombs would then safely and securely be detonated. Our client recalls that the explosion could be heard 20 metres away.
When dealing with the detonations, it was virtually impossible to communicate with other soldiers or members of the Forces as the noise was so deafening.
When our client was on living exercises in the UK, he would permanently be situated in an armoured vehicle which was incredibly loud. During his time in the armoured tank, he was not permitted to wear hearing protection. This was because he had to have radio communications on at full volume so he could hear it over the noise of the tanks.
The constant exposure to loud noises without any hearing protection led to our client’s hearing loss in the armed forces.
Areas of Deployment Where Our Client Was Exposed to Loud Noises
During his employment, our client was exposed to multiple occasions where he was exposed to loud noises without hearing protection. These areas of deployment and exposure were:
Belize in 1999 for 3 months
Our client was required to assist in building a school. He was exposed to the usual noises of a building site such as drills, plant machinery, jack hammers and cement mixers. He also had to endure 3 flights on a helicopter during this time which was deafeningly loud. No ear defenders were provided or worn throughout this deployment leading to his hearing loss.
Kenya in 2000 for 6 weeks
This was a live firing exercise, and he was exposed to noise from rifle firing. He recalls that there were around 1000 rounds fired each day and ear defenders could not be worn as they were told they had to listen to range instructions.
Canada 2001 for 6 weeks
The Claimant was carrying out live firing support in close vicinity of AS90 guns firing, as well as Callander tanks firing and 1000s of small arms firing.
Iraq (Telic 1) 2003 for 6 months
Our client carried out a war-fighting role with no ear protection throughout the period despite firearms being fired all the time. He was also exposed to the noise on the helicopters which he said he was on scores of times.
Kenya 2008 for 6 weeks
Our client was carrying out a bomb disposal role. There were scores of live demolitions which he was exposed to without hearing protection as well as numerous trips on helicopters. No hearing protection was provided as there was a danger to the locals in the area meaning they had to be on constant alert and must be able to hear any radio communications at all times.
Iraq (Telic 7) 2005/06 for 6 months
Our client was there in a bomb disposal role and was exposed to a large number of bulk demolitions. This was considered a high-threat environment and so hearing protection was not permitted so all individuals were on high alert at all times.
Kenya 2012 for 6 weeks
Our client was carrying out a bomb disposal role. There were scores of live demolitions which he was exposed to without hearing protection as well as numerous trips on helicopters. There was no hearing protection provided as there was a danger to the locals in the area, so they had to be always on constant alert and must be able to hear any radio communications at all times.
Kenya 2016 for 6 weeks
Our client was carrying out a bomb disposal role. There were scores of live demolitions which he was exposed to without hearing protection as well as numerous trips on helicopters. There was no hearing protection provided as there was a danger to the locals in the area, so they had to be always on constant alert. They must be able to hear any radio communications at all times.
Iraq (Shader) 2016
Our client was required to be on the helicopters numerous times in a high-threat environment. Therefore, he was not permitted to wear hearing protection as he had to be on high alert at all times.
Hearing Loss in the Armed Forces
During his employment, he was only ever provided with hearing protection during training. He notes that when carrying out the live firing of rifles or explosions, ear defenders could not be worn.
He was provided with regular hearing tests within the Armed Forces. Here he was told that his hearing had diminished. Despite this he was still expected to carry out his job as normal.
Expert Help from AWH’s Industrial Disease Solicitors
With the help of AWH’s industrial disease solicitor, Stacy Pimlott, our client was awarded £48,750.00 in damages for their hearing loss claim.
Your Employer’s Responsibility
Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, businesses and organisations are required to protect the health and safety of all their employees by managing noise levels in the workplace to prevent hearing loss.
If your workplace has a lot of loud noise, your employer should:
- Act to reduce noise exposure
- Provide protective equipment
- Ensure legal limits of noise exposure are not exceeded
- Monitor and maintain all equipment and machinery
- Provide health and safety information and training to all staff exposed to noisy environments
- Carry out health surveillance on employees at risk
If your employer is failing to adhere to the above responsibilities, they are likely failing to protect you. As a result, this could lead to you suffering hearing loss. If you have experienced hearing loss or damage, speak to our solicitors to start your hearing loss claim.
Making a Claim for Hearing Loss in the Armed Forces
If you have experienced hearing loss in the armed forces resulting in permanent or disabling hearing damage, we can help you with your hearing loss claim to get you the compensation you deserve. Start your workplace hearing loss claim with AWH today on a no-win, no-fee basis.Get in touch
Hear more about the member(s) of our team featured above:
- Stacy Pimlott Senior Associate Solicitor/Team Manager view profile