Deaf soldiers legal battle

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SHEFFIELD law firm Irwin Mitchell is urging the Ministry of Defence to ensure servicemen are given adequate hearing protection while operating weapons or machinery, after the firm saw the number of enquiries to its specialist Armed Forces team double in the last year.

Many of these soldiers complained they were not provided with the hearing protection they need for working in loud environments - including a 20-year-old who was left with the hearing level of an 80-year-old after damage from grenade and light machine gun fire.

Nick Woods, an industrial disease expert in Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Armed Forces team, said: “Our team now receives around 10 new enquiries every month from service personnel who have been deafened - many sustain the damage because they were not given hearing protection.”