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Posted June 17, 2019
Noise has a detrimental effect on humans in general, it appears we are not built for the noisy society that we now live and work in. Noise can affect your daily performance, behaviour and of course your hearing. Exposure to noise has health implications that actually go far beyond damage to hearing. Noise can distract, disturb and interfere with communication and sleep. It can also raise blood pressure and make people irritable.
While noise can have many effects, the one that is most spoken of is hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss is a big problem in industry. However, in many cases, hearing loss can be prevented at work. Initially recognising the sources of damaging noise levels is needed. As part of your health and safety policy you should monitor noise levels both general ambient noise levels and also the specific noise levels of machines.
It is important to undertake this on a regular basis, although machines may be rated to a particular noise level, this can change over time and wear. When the noise levels are assessed, you should set out a policy of using appropriate protective equipment. That protective equipment will only do its job when worn properly. A general rule of thumb is the “three feet rule.” If you have to shout to someone who is three feet away (about an arm’s length), the noise level in that location could be damaging.
Your staff need to understand that excessive noise exposure will cause permanent hearing loss that cannot be medically treated. It can also result in constant ringing in your ears called tinnitus. Hearing loss has a dramatic effect on the quality of life of someone who suffers with it, so it makes sense to prevent hearing loss that is avoidable.
Noise induced hearing loss or occupational hearing loss is a terrible if preventable problem. To ensure the safety of your employees you should make ear protection available where necessary and you should have their hearing screened on a regular basis. If you want to discuss noise management strategies, hearing protection or industrial hearing screening, contact us at 01455 234 600 to discuss your needs. While we are based in Leicester, we offer occupational health services across the United Kingdom
Hear4U are a group of fully qualified audiologists within the Leicestershire and Warwickshire area.
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Healthscreen UK Ltd provide a fully comprehensive range of Occupational Health Services from Health Surveillance to Biological Monitoring.