Months ago, MPs were told 121 personnel had been identified as requiring urgent hearing assessments because of noise exposure on the Ajax. Now, a written ministerial statement by Jeremy Quin MP, who is responsible for military equipment, has revealed a further 189 are at risk.
Hearing injuries and muscular and spinal issues have been caused by the noise of Ajax’s engine and its vibrations. The vehicle has been beset by safety and technical issues for several years.
Testing of Ajax was paused over the summer while investigations continued into the causes of the noise and the vibration. In his statement, Mr Quin suggested trials could resume “imminently”- but using staff from General Dynamics (UK) rather than soldiers. He said:
“Of the 310 personnel, 304 have been contacted successfully and 248 personnel, including 113 of the original cohort of 121, have now been assessed.
“The Army continues to identify and monitor the hearing of personnel exposed to noise on Ajax. The Army is also in the process of identifying any health effects in those potentially exposed to vibration.”
Simon Quinn (no connection), Partner and Head of Military at Hilary Meredith Solicitors said:
“It is inexcusable that the men and women of our armed forces are not offered greater protection and that we still, in the 21st century, regularly see many serious injuries arising from often very preventable accidents and incidents.
“Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a common injury suffered on military exercises in both the UK and abroad. An injury which can not only seriously affect the ability of service personnel to remain in the Armed Forces but also affect their ability to secure employment in civilian life.”
Hilary Meredith Solicitors Limited is a National law firm who specialise in acting for military personnel and has been successful in many claims against the Ministry of Defence where the client has developed NIHL.
Continued Simon: “Many injured service personnel are often misinformed that they are unable to bring a civil claim for compensation until they leave the armed forces. This is simply not correct and regrettably often results in serving personnel missing key dates and being prevented from bringing a civil claim.
“Civil awards for compensation not only achieve compensation reflecting the serious nature of the injury but also compensate for financial losses such as loss of earnings – something that the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme does not.
“There are strict time limits in order to start/bring a personal injury claim and the clock is ticking in respect of injuries occurring due to the Ajax light tank. Specialist, independent legal advice should be sought without delay.”
Service personnel/veterans who have suffered injury after testing the Ajax light tank should contact Simon Quinn, Partner and Head of Military at Hilary Meredith Solicitors today. Email email@example.com or call 01625 53 99 22.