Claimant’s responsibilities in relation to their own H&S


Our instructing solicitors on noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) claims often ask us to comment on the Claimant’s responsibilities to ensure their own health and safety.

According to Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, employees must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and the health and safety of others who may be affected by what they do or don’t do at work. Additionally, employees have duties to cooperate with their employers so far as is necessary to enable the employer to comply with their health and safety duties. In this context, that would mean, for example, wearing ear protection provided by an employer to protect against hearing loss, drawing his employer’s attention to equipment that is perhaps worn or broken and perhaps not providing the protection intended, cooperating with any testing and monitoring which the employer carries out to identify noise issues and following training and instructions given regarding hearing protection.

Broad obligations are given more specific support by the 2005 Control of Noise at Work Regulations and for a very quick guide, the HSE provides a summary of what employees need to do on its Noise-induced hearing loss pages.

If an employee has not complied with his duties, that may well limit his claim with a reduction in any damages for contributory negligence or even allow his employers a defence. Whether acting for a claimant or defendant though it is important to be aware that not all the duties owed fall on an employer.

If you want to know more about Claimant’s responsibilities in relation to their own health and safety, please contact [email protected] or on 01530 412777.

As always, if you have any issues associated with noise or vibration please contact the relevant experts at Finch Consulting.

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