Health and safety in the workplace – we’ve all been subject to the lectures. Regardless of your occupation, your working environment, there will always be an element of risk involved. Exposure to harsh sounds and loud noise makes up one these risks, with prolonged or even just a single incident of exposure causing irreversible damage to your hearing.
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive reveal that 18,000 people currently suffer from noise induced hearing loss that was made worse or caused by their working environment. Unfortunately, due to the delicate nature of our hearing and the degenerative effects of hearing loss once you identify a symptom it is usually to late. For those employees concerned about workplace noise, preventative measures should be taken to protect your hearing and general welfare.
Am I at risk?
Those employed within construction and manufacturing industries are generally believed to be most at risk due to the dynamic nature of their working environment. However where there is exposure to intrusive noise for prolonged periods of the working day, inevitably there will always be a risk of noise induced hearing loss. Intrusive noise isn’t strictly limited to the sounds caused by power tools or heavy machinery, loud music for example, also poses an equally dangerous threat.
How can I protect myself?
Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations Act 2005 employers have a legal duty to take the necessary measures to ensure all employees are protected from the effects of intrusive noise. Whilst for the most part the majority employers do comply with the prescribed health and safety standards, some neglect to fulfil their legal responsibilities.
Cooperation with your employers in this instance is essential. Use protection you are given and alert them if you feel it is not sufficient. Ensure you are wearing any hearing protection throughout the duration of your working day when undertaking task involving loud machinery or intrusive noise.
Unfortunately damage to your hearing is permanent, often resulting in life long health problems. Where you believe an employer has failed to provide you with the necessary protective equipment resulting in damage to your hearing you may be eligible to claim compensation. Here at Farleys Solicitors our industrial illness team have a wealth of experience acting on behalf of those who have sustained an injury due to their employer’s negligent actions. For a free confidential discussion with a specialist in workplace compensation claims call 0845 050 1958. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.