Ear Protection

27 September 2016

H&S safety wording
In the past year around 15,000 employees in UK workplaces have suffered from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

NIHL is completed preventable however, once someone has it, they have it for life as it is incurable.  Employers must ensure best practice for every member of staff at risk of NIHL and tinnitus which could lead to associated health problems including insomnia.

If an employee has NIHL, they may be at greater risk of further injury or danger because they would be less likely to hear alarms or warnings.

Step 1 – Detection
Risk Assessment – do employees need to raise their voices to be heard?

Step 2 – Protection
Under The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, suitably fitting ear plugs or ear protectors will help employers to eliminate or reduce noise.  

Step 3 – Training
Employers need to ensure that staff are trained in use of hearing protection and importantly, why protection is important.

Step 4 – Testing
Ensure any protection does the job it is meant to, all ear plugs and/or protectors fit properly, regularly checked for suitability and are stored correctly.

With the right type of risk assessment and PPE, employers will have greatly reduced risk of contracting any physical condition affecting their hearing.  The better protected employees are, the better protected the employer is.