Many occupations expose workers to hazardous levels of noise and the list of jobs is quite diverse. Many employers now ensure through proper training and the provision of proper hearing protection, that their employees are not exposed to noise above 85dB for extended periods of time without suitable ear plugs or defenders.
Members of the armed forces are regularly exposed to gunfire on live firing exercises and in theatres of ear that exceed safe levels of noise. Gun fire can exceed 130-140dB which could cause injury relatively quickly. Many military personnel display one sided hearing loss to reflect the position of the head on the stock of the gun when shooting.
These workers are often overlooked when thinking about noise in the workplace. However the noise associated with feeding pigs can exceed 105dB and combine harvesters and tractors often exceed 102dB.
Bar staff working in nightclubs and bars can be exposed to noise exceeding 110 – 120dB and this group of workers have been disregarded by their employers for many years as noise has been accepted as part and parcel of the nightclub and bar industry. There is useful information on the HSE website http://soundadvice.info
Construction workers are exposed to noise for much of the day. Hammer drills and other pneumatic tools can reach 120dB and often workers are seen on roadsides with hearing defenders on top of their heads. Noise levels on motorways can easily exceed 85dB which adds to the noise from tools and machinery.
Airport Ground Staff
Workers who work on the apron or around jet engines are most likely to suffer noise induced hearing loss without the provision of adequate hearing protection and training. Jet engines on planes can exceed 140dB and this would mean that workers would only have to be exposed to this type of noise for a few minutes to have a harmful effect on their hearing. Thankfully most airport staff are adequately trained and provided with hearing protection.
If you have been exposed to noise in the workplace and suffer with hearing difficulties contact us on freephone 0800 294 3065 for an assessment of your claim.