Blog: Noises off

Catherine Sleep | 24 October 2005

It’s a special week – a European noise at work awareness campaign is underway. If you’re reading this, it’s possible your job is desk-based. You quite likely spend your working hours in a relatively quiet environment – be lucky. Noise at work is a key health and safety consideration in the food and drink manufacturing sector and it affects more people than you think.

For instance, noise levels in milk bottling lines in the UK were recorded at 90-95 decibels – that’s only slightly less than the noise of a pneumatic drill (100 decibels). Around a third of employees in Europe are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise for at least a quarter of their time at work and noise induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases in Europe – over 13.5 million workers in Europe consider that their work affects their health in the form of hearing disorders.

It’s a human rights issue. It’s also a commercial issue – if deafness is a major cause of long-term illness at work, that costs employers serious money. There’s a lot of information on the campaign’s website, including a clever audio demonstration of what it’s like to suffer noise-induced hearing loss. Don’t let it happen to you.

Noise at work – it can cost you more than your hearing


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