Companies need to listen to hearing loss warnings

According to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), industrial hearing loss accounts for nearly 75% of all occupational disease civil claims, with noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) being the second most common reason for employers’ liability insurance claims for occupational health. The HSE estimates that more than 2 million people in Great Britain are exposed to what it says are “unacceptable levels of noise at work”.

 

NIHL is a serious yet completely avoidable condition, says the charity Action on Hearing Loss, noting that it is also the second most common form of acquired hearing loss after age-related hearing loss.

 

Employers where workplace noise reaches above 80 dB are legally obliged to offer training and information to workers, and must provide hearing protection above 85 dB, such as to those working in construction or the entertainment industry. Action on Hearing Loss reports that those in the armed forces are particularly at risk as peak exposure levels from jet engines and weapons systems capable of reaching more than 140 dB.

 

Hosiden Besson has developed the Aurelo hearing protection system for those working in noisy environments. The system compresses unsafe noises to 85 dB, allowing users to continue talking to colleagues and be aware of what is going on around them. Hosiden Besson will also soon be releasing a new Aurelo system that offers the same high level of hearing protection while allowing users to communicate with other wearers via Bluetooth enabled devices.