Armed Forces: Discharges

Ministry of Defence written question – answered at on 1 February 2024.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to help reduce the number of Armed Forces personnel who are medically discharged due to hearing related (a) damage and (b) impairments.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Defence’s policy for managing noise and preventing noise induced hearing damage or impairment is set out in Joint Service Publication (JSP) 375 – Management of health and safety in Defence, chapter 25 – Noise at work.

20220909_JSP_375_Chapter_25_Noise_at_Work.pdf (

To ensure it remains compliant with legislation and aligned to best practice, JSP 375 is subject to an on-going rolling review programme. As part of this, chapter 25 was last updated in September 2022 with input from both Defence and external subject matter experts.

Chapter 25 provides clear and succinct policy statements, mapped to relevant legislation, setting out the measures to be taken to eliminate noise exposure risks or reduce them to as low as is reasonably practicable (ALARP) and tolerable. If a noise risk assessment indicates a health risk to personnel, they must be placed under suitable audiometric health surveillance.

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