April 05, 2017 15:30
Constant exposure to high levels of noise or just one instance of an extremely loud noise can cause permanent hearing damage.
So for people who work in loud atmospheres – manufacturing, engineering, construction, or even loud restaurants – noise-induced hearing loss is a real risk they face, unless employers provide adequate protection.
Across the UK, an estimated 8.5 million people have hearing difficulties due to exposure to noise pollution.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that long-term exposure to noise levels from 85db to 90db can lead to hearing loss. Yet, an estimated 1 million UK employees are exposed to these risky levels of noise at work.
Just last year, an estimated 20,000 people in Britain filed claims relating to noise-induced hearing loss. That figure doesn’t include a number of people who suffered from related effects, like tinnitus (a ringing in the ears) or damage not yet noticeable. Plus, it doesn’t consider the further health issues caused by extended exposure to loud noises: increased stress levels, disturbed sleep, and the potential for noise exposure to lead to more serious illnesses such as hypertension and heart disease.
So how can this be prevented?
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 applies to workplaces that have an average daily or weekly exposure of more than 80dB. The primary recommendation for protecting employees’ hearing is the requirement to provide required ear protection for loud areas. This is required in spaces with an average noise level over 85dB.
However, the regulations also state that employers should consider the design and layout of workplaces, work stations and rest facilities to reduce noise. A simple way to reduce the impact of noise within buildings is to install acoustic door seals, which can reduce noise transfer between spaces in a building.
Norseal manufactures and stocks high-quality acoustic door seal products for this very purpose. All our door seals are supported by test evidence which can guarantee that buildings are meeting the recommended minimum levels for sound attenuation.
Contact Norseal to enquire about our range of acoustic door seals and protect your employees from hearing loss!