Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Occupational Deafness on 28th January 1987.
Mr. Evans Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will amend the Social Security Industrial Injuries (Prescribed Diseases) Regulations to enable employees who obtain a successful legal settlement against their employer for occupational deafness to be automatically eligible for industrial disablement benefit.
Mr. Major There are no plans to amend the regulations as suggested. Different criteria govern awards of industrial disablement benefit and damages at common law; the question of negligence, for example, is not relevant to the industrial injuries scheme. The occupational deafness provisions have had to be strictly limited to keep the number of claims within the capacity of the audiological services. On the advice of the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, coverage is therefore restricted to certain very noisy occupations. The scope of the scheme has been widened since its inception but any further extension must depend, among other things, on the availability of audiological resources.