Protecting against Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)

Sadly too many hardworking employees have been exposed to too much noise in the workplace. Gradual reform by the Government has seen a stricter onus on the employer to provide hearing protection noisy working environments. In particular, the requirement for mandatory hearing protection is enforced when an employee is working in loud areas with an average noise level of 85 dB over the course of an 8 hour shift or 85 dB(A).

The unwary would be wrong to think that all hearing protection provides the same level of protection from noise, and therefore preventing noise induced hearing loss. The different styles of protection and various makes and models of ear plugs and ear defenders, can drastically reduce your exposure to harmful levels of noise.

All types of hearing protection do at some level protect you from occupational noise exposure. The problem arises by how much the noise is reduced by. Ear plugs for example can reduce the noise levels suffered by as little as 6dB, whereas some high specification ear defenders can reduce one’s noise exposure by as much as 50dB.

Ear Defenders or Ear Plugs? 

It is usually always recommend that you seek to wear ear defenders rather than ear plugs to prevent you from suffering with noise induced hearing loss. This is mainly due to the capability, in most situations of ear defenders guarding against greater levels of excessive noise when compared to ear plugs.

Workers may often find the use of ear defenders as inconvenient and impractical. If you are working in a very hot environment, or if you are carrying out duties in a very confined space and wearing other protective equipment, you may not be able to wear the ear defenders. It is therefore crucial in these circumstances to insert the ear plugs correctly. Failure to do so can prevent full protection, resulting in occupational noise exposure.

One consideration which is often missed by employers and employees alike is that any removal of hearing protection, even if only for a short duration, will substantially reduce the effectiveness of that protection. It is possible that such periods, when added together over time could ultimately result in a reduction in your hearing ability.

One thing that must be noted is that if you work in an environment where noise levels exceed 105 dB(A), you need to wear ear muffs rather than ear plugs.

In essence choosing the correct type of protection, and wearing this for the duration of your time spent in noisy environments, is crucial to prevent you from being exposed to harmful and excessive levels of noise and thus, reducing the risk of you developing noise induced hearing loss.

What’s My Deafness Claim Worth has extensive experience in dealing with people suffering with hearing loss and tinnitus. We have a specialist team of industrail deafness solicitors, as well as a fully trained audiologist, who will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our team understands that it can be a very difficult and daunting time for you and they will do their best to offer an unparalleled support network and specialist legal expertise. If you have suffered a personal injury, which was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.If you are suffering from loss of hearing, buzzing or ringing in your ears, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.

If you have been affected by hearing loss or exposure to noisy working environments you should not hesitate to contact us or to try our ‘Calculate my Claim’ feature on the right hand side of this page to see what your claim may be worth. We understand that the symptoms that you are suffering from can have serious consequences on your day to day life. When fighting for your compensation we take into account any time you have had to take off work, any treatment you have had to pay for including the cost of hearing aids and any other losses that you may have incurred.

Claims are dealt with on a no win, no fee basis so if we are unsuccessful in your claim you do not pay anything. If your claim is successful you will keep at least 75% of the compensation that is awarded.

Call 0800 849 8700 to speak to a member of our specialist team of Industrial Disease lawyers who will assist you further with this matter.

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