If you think about dancing the night away at your favourite night-spot you’ll probably be thinking of loud music helping to create an atmosphere where inhibitions can be shed and dance-moves displayed. You might be an occasional clubber who attends only infrequently, or even someone who likes to go out every week. But imagine the difference if you actually work at the nightclub, and thus are exposed to loud music on a nightly basis. This frequent exposure to loud noise can be really dangerous for the employee’s hearing.
One way to minimise the potential hearing damage would be to provide the employee with PPE (personal Protective Equipment); in this case ear defenders of some sort. The trouble in this situation is that the use of such equipment could potentially make it difficult for the employee to hear the customers’ requests, and this could render the use of such equipment as useless.
Taking a different approach to this, a nightclub operator in the south of England decided to look into the different areas of the nightclub and established that while people wanted to have loud music on the dance-floor itself, it was better for all involved if the music was quieter near to the bar area. With this in mind they installed a state of the art sound system that matched the needs of the customers and the staff alike: They used highly directional mid and high range speakers that were aimed at the dance-floor, the bass speakers were mounted on anti-vibration mounts and the reverberation time was kept low by using acoustic absorbers on many surfaces. In addition to this they installed absorptive ceilings in the bar areas.
The result of these works were that noise exposure to the bar staff was reduced by up to 9db to less than 89db and a side-effect of the low reverberation was that the music sounded particularly good.
Noise at your work?
Whether or not you work in a nightclub, your employer has a responsibility not to expose you to dangerous noise levels in your workplace. The example above shows one way that employers can think around issues and manage noise more effectively. You can’t expect to work in silence in some jobs, but you shouldn’t have to shout to be heard. If your employer doesn’t take noise seriously and you think that your hearing has been affected directly due to your job, then you should contact us today.