Most of us are aware that frequent or prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage our hearing, and that once it has been damaged there is no going back to how it was in the past. Employers are aware of this, and those who employ people who are regularly exposed to loud noise have a responsibility to protect those workers and provide suitable equipment and procedures to minimise the danger.
So what happens when loud noise is an important part of the spectacle – such as a rock concert – where people attend because of the loud noise?
Occasional exposure to loud noise is a part of daily life, and our ears can cope with it every now and then. So attending the occasional rock concert is unlikely to cause too much damage. Spare a moment though for those who work in that kind of environment; the performers, the audio technicians, even the roadies, who are exposed to rock concert noise every day of their working lives.
These people have to take hearing damage seriously so that their careers are not cut short by issues relating to hearing loss. The use of ear-defenders is widespread in the music and entertainment industry, with different types available for different needs of the users.
What types of ear defenders are out there?
- Ear plugs are inserted to block the ear canal. They may be pre-molded (preformed) or moldable (foam ear plugs). Ear plugs are sold as disposable products or reusable plugs. Custom molded ear plugs are also available.
- Semi-insert ear plugs which consist of two ear plugs held over the ends of the ear canal by a rigid headband.
- Ear muffs consist of sound-attenuating material and soft ear cushions that fit around the ear and hard outer cups. They are held together by a head band.
The choice of hearing protectors is a very personal one and depends on a number of factors including level of noise, comfort, and the suitability of the hearing protector for both the worker and his environment. Most importantly, the hearing protector should provide the desired noise reduction. It is best, where protectors must be used, to provide a choice of a number of different types to choose from.
If the noise exposure is intermittent, ear-muffs are more desirable, since it may be inconvenient to remove and reinsert earplugs.
What if my hearing has been damaged through my employment?
If your hearing has been damaged because of your employment, it is likely that you will be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly trained solicitors today to talk through how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.