During the 60s, 70s and 80s the British Leyland, Rover and Pressed Steel plants at Cowley in Oxford employed nearly 25,000 workers at any one time. Since then, BMW have bought the plant.
The work that many of those working at the Cowley plant completed in the 60s, 70s and 80s involved working in very noisy environments assembling cars on a production line. During this period, the company did not have a policy for mandatory ear protection. As a result, many workers developed severe hearing problems such as tinitus.
Tinitus is a condition that caused the victim to experience loud sounds, in the absence of noise. This means that, even when trying to sleep, the victim will often hear a loud ringing sound in their ears. Tinitus can be caused by many different factors, however, it’s most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises.
Tinitus Injury Claims
When BMW took over control of the plant at Cowley they also assumed responsibility for these worker’s health. As those who worked at the plant in the 60s, 70s and 80s began developing symptoms, it was BMW who had to deal with the claims for compensation. It has now been estimated that over 10,000 claims have been made and that there are still many that are in the process of being investigated. It has also been estimated that BMW’s insurers have paid out over £15 million to the plant’s previous employees.
This is one of the worst cases of widespread industrial injury in the UK. As you’d expect, BMW are co-operating fully with investigations and are encouraging anyone who worked at the plant who is suffering with hearing problems to contact their insurer