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November 12, 2014

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Ripe for reform: deafness claims

In the last 25 years, the UK has implemented two EU directives addressing directly the issue of noise in the workplace, reducing the action level to one where the risk of injury is really very low indeed. Other changes in relation to risk assessment, PPE and agents such as vibration have also improved the working environment.

Despite this, however, notifications of civil claims for damages have continued to surge in numbers. Actuarial estimates suggest 80,000 claims were made last year alone. The increase cannot be explained by demographics and appears to be the consequence of legal market forces.

A very high proportion of the claims fail which does nothing for public confidence in the process, and in any event, the administration of even failed claims represents a significant cost to business.

The creation of a ‘market’ in claims has also led to concerns over issues of fraud and how one decides what is or is not a genuine claim. In all respects, the process surrounding deafness claims is ripe for reform.

Ian Macalister will be speaking on noise induced hearing loss claims at the RoSPA Occupational Safety and Health Congress on Wednesday, 19 November. For more information, visit: www.rospa.com/events/congress

Sleep and Fatigue: Director’s Briefing

Fatigue is common amongst the population, but particularly among those working abnormal hours, and can arise from excessive working time or poorly designed shift patterns. It is also related to workload, in that workers are more easily fatigued if their work is machine-paced, complex or monotonous.

This free director’s briefing contains:

  • Key points;
  • Recommendations for employers;
  • Case law;
  • Legal duties.
Barbour EHS

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Mike Fullalove
Mike Fullalove
5 years ago

As a Health & Safety Manager with many years of experience dealing with people and situations aiming to ensure we as an organisation minimise any effects to peoples health or well being, I agree the claim situation within the UK is very often fraudulent with regards to injury in work. I have over the past few months had employees asking advice over a letter they had received stating there could be a problem with their hearing and invited to audiometric testing, they were also informed no action would be taken against their employer as compensation would be paid by the… Read more »