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Noise Induced Hearing Loss On The Rise In The Military - World Hearing Day

It's a sad and unfortunate fact, as revealed in the recently updated Military of Defence (MoD) statistics, that Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) compensation claims are on the rise year-on year-since 2018. 

The latest statistics reveal that claims for service related NIHL have, since the Covid years of 2020/21, practically doubled. This demonstrates that whilst our dedicated Armed Forces continue to make so many sacrifices, they are not being provided with the right protective equipment, including hearing protection. 


In terms of claims within the area of personal injury the position is as follows:


Our expertise in hearing loss claims

Whether you’ve suffered from tinnitus, acoustic shock or more severe forms of hearing loss, our team of specialist solicitors can help to explore your case with compassion and professionalism.

We’ve helped thousands of people in the UK with hearing loss claims, including those who worked in the steel, engineering, construction and textile industries and those working in factories which is the more common kind of occupational noise exposure.

We also help military personnel and this is our specialist area in the field of NIHL. Military noise-induced hearing loss (M-NIHL) is very different to occupational noise exposure, such as from working in a factory. 

We help military clients in NIHL claims from a wide range of trades where they may have been exposed to damaging levels of noise, including radio operators, mechanics, helicopter exposure.

There’s potential to be exposed to excessive noise whilst employed by the MoD in a wide range of trades and scenarios. Noise exposure can also come from:

  • Weapons including SA80 rifles, light and heavy machine guns
  • Flash bangs
  • Aircraft noise
  • Vehicle engine noise.

M-NIHL differs from occupational noise exposure, which may occur in a factory – this is “broadband” and has a mix of sound frequencies, whilst M-NIHL is an “impulse sound”. 


Getting the help you need

If you think you’ve been exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise at work then you should contact us as soon as possible.

It’s important you seek advice promptly, as in many cases there are strict time limits in place. Normally, you must make a claim within three years of realising or suspecting that your hearing loss is a result of your employment. When you contact us, we’ll give you clear advice about the time limits that apply to your claim. We’ll also be able to start investigating your hearing loss. This is crucial to secure the evidence and documents needed to have the best chance of success.

Sometimes a claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS) is the best option. These include situations where no negligence can be established, or where the three-year time limit has passed.

However, claims through the civil courts are more likely to result in higher awards of damages, especially for noise claims. The courts take account of financial losses and damages that aren’t provided for under the Scheme such as future lost earnings and future pension loss which can be significant. 

A lot of people think their injuries are minor, but often it's enough to result in a medical downgrade. Sometimes it may also result in medical discharge from the Armed Forces. If the MoD fails to provide adequate hearing protection, service personnel can suffer noise damage, and even have their military careers cut short – if this is the case, claims for NIHL in the civil courts will try to get any past and future losses. 

We were able to help a client last year who is still serving but has failed to promote as a result of his damaging exposure to noise. This means he has lost his future chance of promotion and lost career resulting in lost future earnings and pension all of  which we were able to successfully recover from the MoD.

There are complex technical issues to understand and contest on noise claims, which we can support you with. If you think you’ve been exposed to excessive noise during your service career, we may able to help you so please get in touch.