The human ear can easily be damaged by loud noises; whether the noise is continuous, such as in a nightclub or concert, or occasional such as in a foundry or call-centre, protection must be provided to any employee who is exposed to loud noises.
When should hearing protection be used?
Hearing protection should never be used as an alternative to proper noise control. Employees should be issued with hearing protection whenever additional protection is required; even if that is as a short term measure during the development of further noise control techniques.
What does the Law say?
By law employers are required to provide employees with hearing protection if their exposure to noise is between the lower and upper exposure action values. Employers should identify hearing protection zones – areas where the use of hearing protection is compulsory, and ensure that they are suitable signposted. In addition to providing the necessary equipment, employees must be suitably trained on how to use and how to maintain the hearing protection systems.
What checks should be made?
In order to make sure that all employees use the protection measures provided, it can be helpful to include the need to wear hearing protection in the company’s safety policy. Spot checks are a good way to make sure that all employees are following the rules; if equipment is not being used properly it might be suitable to follow company disciplinary procedures. It is crucial that managers and supervisors set a good example for other staff by wearing the appropriate protection at all times when in hearing protection zones.
What if your hearing was damaged through your employment?
If your hearing has been damaged and you think that it is due to your employment, then it could be worthwhile for you to contact one of our solicitors today. We have years of experience in this area and will swiftly be able to talk you through the claims process and identify whether or not you are entitled to make a claim for compensation from your employer. If it can be proved that they failed in their responsibility to protect you from unnecessary noise during the course of your employment then you could be entitled to claim. Contact us today and see if we can help you.