London Man’s Problems Linked To 20 Years Of Working With Oscillator Equipment
A former telephone technician who developed noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus following 13 years working at BT has spoken of how he is now looking to the future after lawyers helped him secure a four-figure settlement regarding the problems.
Barry Brown, 57, from Poplar, East London, worked for British Telecommunications between 1979 and 1992 and throughout his time at the company he used oscillators and amplifier equipment which is now widely known to be the cause of hearing issues.
When both he and his family noticed that his hearing was beginning to deteriorate, he instructed specialist industrial deafness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his case.
Now, after an expert consultant concluded that his hearing problems were caused by his former working practices, the lawyers have helped him gain a settlement and an admission of liability from BT regarding the issues.
Irwin Mitchell has represented over 900 engineers and technicians across the UK whose hearing has been affected by using the dangerous oscillator devices, which have since been scrapped by BT.
Rebecca Wood of the Workplace Illness team at Irwin Mitchell who represented Barry, said:
Expert Opinion“Sadly a case of this nature is not uncommon, with many former BT employees going on to develop hearing problems as a result of the oscillator and amplifier equipment they often worked with during their day-to-day lives.
“All employers have a responsibility to ensure that their workers are protected from potential risks to their health and safety, so it is vital that businesses going forward recognise the need to always provide adequate protection to keep employees safe.
“Tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss can have a huge impact on a person’s quality of life and we hope that this settlement will ensure that our client is able to access the support and specialist aids he will now need to get the best from life.” Rebecca Wood - Solicitor
Barry Brown was employed as a Grade One Telephone Technician at BT and was responsible for both finding and repairing faults, most commonly at commercial sites including banks.
He recalls: “My role meant barely a day went by when I was not using either the green or yellow oscillator and amplifier sets. Sadly, the risks of the equipment were not widely known then and it has gone on to have a lasting impact on me.
“The hearing issues I suffer developed gradually and became particularly noticeable when my family complained that the TV was too loud or that I was not responding to questions or conversations.
“Anyone going to work should be able to do their job without facing any health risks, so it is very frustrating that this has happened. However, the settlement is an opportunity for me to draw a line under this, as it will ensure that I can get the help I need and deserve after what I have been through.”