Overexposure to noise in the workplace can lead to industrial deafness. Industrial deafness is one of the most serious accidents at work we deal with at Accident Advice Helpline.
The effects of industrial deafness are usually permanent and can have an extremely traumatising effect on your work, social and family life.
How employers can minimise the risk of industrial deafness
Your employer is legally required to reduce noise at work to a reasonable level. Here are five steps that an employer can take to help lessen the impact of industrial deafness.
- Noise assessment: The first step in combating noise in the workplace is to actually assess the level of noise. The most common piece of equipment used to measure noise levels in the workplace is the sound level meter (SLM). The SLM consists of a microphone, electronic circuits and a readout display that expresses the noise levels as number of decibels.
- Replace equipment: If machinery is outdated it may be an idea to purchase new, quieter machinery which does not produce as much noise or vibration. It is a good idea to operate a low-noise purchasing policy when acquiring equipment and machinery for the workplace.
- Engineering controls: Avoid metal on metal impacts which can produce an ear-splitting clang. This can be done by introducing abrasion-resistant rubber lining on metal chutes. Vibrating panels may be dampened by adding sound-deadening material.
- Changing design and layout: Erect enclosures around machines which emit an excessive amount of noise. Use barriers and screens which may block the direct path of a sound and position noisy machinery as far away from employees as possible.
- Ear protection: If it is not possible to physically reduce the amount of noise in the workplace, then it is a good idea to provide employees with hearing protection. Whether you decide to use over-ear protectors (ear-muffs) or in-ear protection will depend on a number of factors including cost, hygiene and other protective equipment that employees must wear such as dust masks or hard hats.
Claiming compensation for industrial deafness
If you’ve suffered industrial deafness within the last three years and it wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline; we are leading UK law firm with 15 years’ experience in all areas of personal injury compensation including work-related accidents. Our highly-trained advisers can talk you through the claim process and you will be under no obligation to proceed with any claims discussed.
All of our claims are made on a 100 per cent no-win no-fee* basis. Call today on 0800 689 0500 for more information.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice