July 9, 2024

Hearing Protection, the MoD and Compensation

MoD Hearing Protection

As you will appreciate, at Hearing Healthcare Practice, we’re crucially aware of the importance of hearing protection in an increasingly noisy world – in our everyday lives, and in the work place.

A recent BBC news story has now reported a significant development, stressing the growing importance of this issue:

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will now compensate thousands of veterans for hearing loss suffered during their service.

The BBC report highlights that military personnel, due to their exposure to gunfire, explosions, and other loud noises during training and combat, are of course particularly vulnerable to hearing loss. Despite previous opposition, the MoD has now accepted that noise exposure in the military is a genuine cause of hearing loss. This acknowledgement opens the door for many veterans discharged after 1987 to seek compensation for their service-related hearing impairments.

From 2012 to 2020, the MoD paid £72 million in compensation for military hearing loss, addressing over 9,000 cases. However, with the new court agreement, it’s anticipated that up to 10,000 more veterans will now come forward to make claims. The solicitor, representing nearly 5,000 military personnel, described this development as “ground-breaking.”

Insufficient Hearing Protection

One poignant story shared by the BBC is that of Barney Barnett, who joined the Royal Marines at 16 and now suffers from tinnitus. His account of experiencing various combat scenarios without adequate hearing protection is a stark reminder of the risks involved. Despite attempts to wear earplugs, operational demands often made it impossible, leading to significant hearing damage.

This story not only underscores the importance of hearing protection in high-risk professions like the military but also signals a potential increase in occupational noise-related hearing loss claims across various industries. At Hearing Healthcare Practice, we see daily evidence of noise-induced hearing loss, not just from workplaces but also from exposure to loud music and other recreational sources. The need for caution, sense and comprehensive hearing protection is universal, whether in military service, industrial environments, or everyday life.

The MoD’s acknowledgement of their “duty of care” to veterans marks a significant shift, abandoning previous arguments that claims should have been made sooner. This new stance will probably expedite the compensation process, helping veterans limove forward with their lives, potentially allowing them to access more advanced hearing aids and other necessary support.

Protect for the Future

As an award-winning audiology practice, Hearing Healthcare Practice is dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of noise-related hearing loss and the importance of early intervention and protection. This development at the MoD is a crucial reminder of the need to prioritise hearing health across all walks of life. Whether you’re in the military, working in a noisy environment, or simply enjoying music, protecting your hearing is essential.

For those concerned about their hearing health, we encourage regular check-ups and consultations with our audiologists to ensure that any signs of hearing loss are detected and managed early. Protect your hearing today to ensure a better quality of life tomorrow.

Stay informed and stay protected.

Original News Story Source: BBC News, “MoD to compensate thousands of veterans over hearing loss,” 8th July 2024.