Time has not yet run out for the many former and current British Telecom employees, who have sustained a loss of hearing due to using faulty testing sets, to claim BT engineers hearing loss compensation.
In August 2010 – in the compensation case of Watkins v British Telecommunications – BT recognised that engineers had been given equipment for testing, tracing and installing telephone lines which produced loud, high-pitched tones and damaged their (the workers) hearing.
The case lead to many claims for BT engineers hearing loss compensation being filed and, as a lot of the injuries had been suffered years previously, BT revealed it would not enforce the three-year Statute of Limitations which normally restricts an employer´s liability for work injuries.
However, in June 2012, BT went back on its early decision to allow former employees a limitless period in which to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss, and commented that – from January 1st 2013 – any BT engineer claim for hearing loss compensation would now be subject to the three-year Statute of Limitations.
This means that past and present workers who have been diagnosed with hearing loss injury within the previous three years due to BT´s negligence are still permitted to claim compensation for BT engineers hearing loss injuries and receive compensation for their early loss of hearing.
Workers not involved with the testing of lines, but who have sustained a loss of hearing due to working in close to loud noise while a line installation was underway, and who were not given adequate protection for their hearing, are also permitted to claim compensation – subject to their hearing loss injury being diagnosed within the last three years.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has stated any present or past BT worker suffering from tinnitus, premature deafness or damaged hearing due to their working surroundings to seek legal counsel at the earliest possible opportunity.