Occupational exposure to noise is a significant cause of hearing impairment and disability.
In the early 1980s approximately 600,000 workers in the British manufacturing industry were regularly exposed to substantial levels of noise. More recently, 11% of employed men and 6% of employed women who took part in a large community survey reported that they had to raise their voice to be heard in the workplace.
Another 3% of men and 2% of women claimed they left work with temporary deafness and ringing in their ears every day.
The Statistical Outlook in 2018
In 2018 the Health and Safety Executive’s Labour Force Survey estimated that between 2015/16 and 2017/18 there were 23,000 workers in the UK with work-related hearing problems, including industrial deafness and tinnitus.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
In 2017 there were 70 new claims for work-related deafness made under the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme. There has been a noticeable decline in such claims over the past decade.
Interestingly, there is a marked gender disparity in the number of new claims for work-related deafness. For example, between 2008 to 2017 there were 1,395 new IIDB work-related deafness claims, just ten of these were made by women.This is likely to be because women make up just a small proportion of workers in the most noise-hazardous sectors. These include the following:
- Road work
- Heavy machinery work
Find out more
Click on the links below to find out more about:
- The types of industrial deafness
- The symptoms of industrial deafness
- The causes of industrial deafness
- Jobs at risk
Employers have particular duties to protect the hearing of workers and employees. These are now found in the Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which tightened the duties on employers to prevent exposure to noise. The Noise Regulations set out "action levels" – particular noise levels at which action must be taken.
Hearing Loss Compensation Claims
If employers do not protect workers from noise, and you develop hearing problems as a result, you could be entitled to compensation.
Our specialist industrial disease solicitors have secured compensation for many people who have suffered injury caused by their exposure to elevated noise levels at work.