Home >Court decides in favour of employers for industrial deafness from lowlevel exposure
Court decides in favour of employers for industrial deafness from lowlevel exposure
23 January 2013
A five justice panel of the Supreme Court has allowed the appeals brought by employers and their insurers against a 2009 Court of Appeal decision that had made employers liable from 1978 onwards for noise induced deafness in employees caused by longterm exposure to regular workplace noise levels in excess of 85 decibels.
In its decision in Baker v Quantum Clothing Group Limited and others, the Supreme Court restored the original 2007 High Court judgment of His Honour Judge Inglis in the Nottingham District Registry.
In that first instance decision, seven test case claimants from the East Midlands garment industry failed to establish employers' liability for their alleged noise induced deafness at either common law or under Section 29 (1) of the Factories Act 1961.
The Supreme Court held, by a three to two majority, that the Court of Appeal was wrong to overturn the original decision that employers generally would not be liable for employees' deafness shown to be caused by regular workplace exposure below 90 decibels before The Noise at Work Regulations 1989 came into effect in 1990.