Protect Hearing In The Workplace
At Accident Advice Helpline, we have seen a huge increase in the number of industrial deafness claims, particularly over the last few years. Although health and safety measures for noisy work environments that exceed the recommended safe level by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been put in place, it is still a joint responsibility, between you and your employer, to protect your hearing.
Work accidents regarding hearing can often be prevented by simple measures to protect hearing in the workplace.
All employers who run and maintain working places which have a noisy environment should carry out noise measurement procedures routinely.
Before beginning work, employees can ask employers some simple questions in order to obtain the correct information about levels of noise in their work place. These are health and safety regulations that both you and your employer should be aware of:
- Were the relevant noise studies performed?
- Who took part in the studies?
- When did the study take place?
- How often is it reviewed?
If no such noise measurement procedure has taken place alert your supervisor or manager of this and ask if this can be completed.
Health and safety guidelines
Each new employer should be given the relevant health and safety guidelines and training before beginning any work placement. This is mandatory and you should not start any kind of work related activities until you are aware of these guidelines.
Make sure that you take notes and pay close attention to the ways in which you need to protect yourself and those around you whilst you work. These guidelines should also be constantly reviewed in order to meet with new regulations and work place requirements.
Protective work equipment
Regulations state that those employees who are exposed to levels of high noise should be provided with protective regulatory hearing equipment in order to prevent industrial deafness of any level.
You should not begin work until you receive this equipment as doing so can be regarded as an act of negligence, either by your employer or yourself and may affect any work accident claim or compensation you may need to apply for later on.
Make sure any protective hearing gear you are given is adequate, if not you must report this to your supervisor or manager immediately.
Take your breaks – prevent accidents at work
Your breaks are allocated to you for a reason. Long periods of time can expose you to harmful noise levels which could cause significant damage to your hearing and further accidents at work. If your break time is missed, alert your supervisor.
Be aware at all times
Always ensure that you are up to date with all company policies and procedures during your time in a workplace that has a high noise level.
Accidents at work can always be prevented and by following these simple steps you can prevent work accidents from occurring whilst doing your bit as an employee to ensure that you prevent any kind of industrial deafness.
Date Published: October 17, 2013
Author: David Brown