Industrial deafness is a condition caused by exposure to excessive noise at work. Where noise reaches a level of more than 80 dB, employers are legally required to provide hearing protection.
One type of hearing protector that may be provided is the ear defender.
About ear defenders
Also frequently referred to as ear muffs, ear defenders are similar in shape and size to headphones. Typically featuring a band that goes over or behind the wearer’s head, ear defenders are also available in configurations suitable for use with head protection, including hard hats.
To successfully prevent occupational deafness, ear defenders have to be well fitted. In essence, they must be fitted so that the seal between the ear and the defender is extremely snug, without causing discomfort, and prevents leakage of noise into the ear.
Ear defender ratings
Ear defenders are generally issued with two ratings, the Simplified Noise Reduction or Single Number Rating (SNR) and the HML rating.
The SNR rating of a defender is subtracted from overall sound measurements to calculate sound pressure levels at the wearer’s ear. The HML rating refers to the selected ear defender’s noise reduction at low, medium and high frequencies.
Selecting the correct ratings for the environment the defender is to be used in is extremely important in order to ensure excessive noise is cut out without impairing workers’ ability to hear fire alarms, for instance.
Due to the wide range of possible noise levels and frequencies, employers may need to provide a fairly extensive selection of hearing protectors.
Workers must be trained in the proper use of these devices, including when and how to wear which protector. As workers without doubt vary in size, ear defenders must also be available in multiple sizes to ensure a perfect fit for each worker.
Lack of protection
If you suffer from temporary or permanent industrial deafness because you were not given adequate protection or because accidents at work exposed you to extreme levels of noise, you may be entitled to make an industrial deafness claim.
Experience and skill
Industrial injury compensation is one of the specialities of Accident Advice Helpline. A law firm with a nationwide team of dedicated solicitors, we boast an impressive 15 years’ experience in handling industrial injury claims.
Take advantage of our experience, enlist the help of a highly skilled work injury claims lawyer today by calling the our confidential helpline on 0800 689 0500 and discussing your situation with a friendly, knowledgeable adviser.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice