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Deadline For Communications Engineers Suffering Hearing Loss To Get Legal Support

Irwin Mitchell Representing 750 Workers Injured Using BT Oscillator Device


Specialist workplace illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are calling for former communications engineers who have suffered problems with their hearing after working with oscillating and amplifying equipment to contact legal experts as soon as possible as a deadline for them to seek help is fast approaching.

Noise related hearing loss experts at Irwin Mitchell have represented around 750 engineers who suffered hearing damage following exposure to excessive loud noise through the use of the so-called ‘green set’ and ‘yellow set’ equipment made by BT. The devices transmit a constant high pitched sound through a headset, allowing the user to listen for changes in tone to track faults in the telephone cables.

But time is running out for people wishing to bring a claim as BT has confirmed that, as of January 2013, it is withdrawing an amnesty on the time limits it will accept in relation to these cases from workers who used the faulty equipment. It means anyone who used the devices years ago will need to speak to specialist lawyers as soon as possible.

BT has now replaced the equipment with adapted models but lawyers at Irwin Mitchell worry that others companies may have used them since the faults were found, and some engineers may still be working with the devices.

Irwin Mitchell is currently representing approximately 620 workers in Humberside, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, and around 130 in Newcastle and the North East who may have been injured as a result of working with BT Oscillators either while working for BT or with other companies such as Kingston Communications which bought or leased the devices.

Mark Allen, an associate director at Irwin Mitchell, specialises in cases related to workplace illness and noise-related hearing loss, he said the decision on the removal of the amnesty is likely to impact on many people.

He said: “The removal of the amnesty means that workers who were injured using the devices more than three years ago could find it significantly more difficult to launch a battle for justice from the start of next year.

“Through no fault of their own many communications workers have been injured using devices they were given as part of their job. We’ve seen firsthand the terrible impact that noise related hearing loss can have on so many lives with hearing loss and tinnitus really affecting the way our clients interact with their families.

 “We would urge anyone who believes they may be affected by these problems to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible, with a view to seeing if they are eligible to get financial support to fund the care and support they need due to their hearing problems.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from hearing damage such as acoustic shock, tinnitus, and noise-induced hearing loss caused by conditions at work our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.