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Disease Blogs Archive


07 Dec 2023

On 17 July 2023, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) published two important papers in relation to hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). HAVS, then known as Vibration White Finger, was first prescribed as an industrial disease by the IIAC over 40 years ago following the publication of its Command Paper Cm 8350 in 1981. The background…

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04 Dec 2023

Following on from our October 2022 Rugby Union article on instrumented mouthguards, World Rugby will now be adopting mouthguards with smart technology that measures the force of impacts to the head in real time during matches. The mouthguards have already been used in the inaugural WXV competition and will be mandatory in World Rugby games…

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09 Nov 2023

An award of damages in an asbestosis claim is reasonably substantial, often in the region of six figures. It is almost always made on a provisional basis, a consequence of which is that, unless the return clauses are activated, special damages are usually lower than general damages. Therefore, the award for general damages is likely…

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09 Oct 2023

What’s wrong with this picture (taken from this Breathe Freely Toolbox Talk)? Introduction In July of 2023, as I walked from the Combined Court Centre in Sheffield in the company of other disease lawyers, we passed a construction site that bore the impression of compliance with the Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015: a modern,…

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01 Aug 2023

Whether assessing the likely award of general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (“PSLA”) on behalf of a Claimant, setting a reserve or considering a Part 36 offer for a Defendant, it is important to ensure that one can be as accurate as possible in the assessment of general damages for PSLA. In…

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19 Jul 2023

Audiometric testing of employees has played a central role in the management of risk of exposure of workers to excessive levels of noise in industry for many decades. Audiometry can detect early damage to hearing. Typically where used by prudent employers, the testing would have comprised self-recorded automated audiometry (such as Bekesy audiograms). The reliability and relevance…

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04 Jul 2023

Since the late 1990s, the courts have approached the issues of diagnosis and causation of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (“HAVS”), and quantification of general damages, by reference to HAVS’s two constituent components: vascular HAVS and sensorineural HAVS. There is also evidence, however, that hand-transmitted vibration can damage the musculoskeletal system. Vascular HAVS involves damage to the…

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18 May 2023

The risks associated with exposure to vibration from hand-held tools in the workplace have been increasingly well publicised over the last half-century and have resulted in specialist regulation in an effort to reduce injury. Despite that, employees suffering injury as a result of vibration exposure is not a thing of the past. The most recent…

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20 Apr 2023

In May 2014, the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) published a command paper in which recommendations were made to add Dupuytren’s contracture, due to hand-transmitted vibration, to the list of prescribed diseases. The recommendation was to prescribe Dupuytren’s when severe enough to involve fixed flexion deformity and following exposure of at least 10 years in aggregate…

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04 Apr 2023

‘Back in the day’ – not a phrase ever used back in the day – I recall mention in pupillage of three occupational conditions, farmer’s lung, bird fancier’s lung and bagpiper’s lung. They acquired a sort of mythological status as no such cases ever passed across the desks of my pupil supervisors. Farmer’s lung was…

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28 Mar 2023

On 3 March 2023, Johnson J gave judgment in Barry v Ministry of Defence [2023] EWHC 459 (KB). A former Royal Marine was medically discharged at the age of 29 years with noise-induced hearing loss (“NIHL”) and tinnitus sustained after training exercises. Primary liability was admitted. The Ministry of Defence contended for contributory negligence (in failing to…

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14 Mar 2023

This blog reviews the High Court decision in Barry v Ministry of Defence [2023] EWHC 459 (KB) and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the application of the Moore et al. Guidelines for Diagnosis and Quantification of Military Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Those who practise in the field of noise induced hearing loss (“NIHL”) are waiting with bated breath for some authoritative…

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