Noise is an inescapable part of some industries such as construction, foundries, quarrying and mining amongst others. Workers employed in these industries are more prone to suffering from industrial deafness. However, this does not mean that you have to accept work-related deafness as an occupational hazard and that you have no recourse to the law.
The Control Of Noise At Work Regulation was introduced in 2005 as a way to protect workers from excessive exposure to high levels of noise in the workplace. This regulation stipulates that employers are responsible for providing their employees with a risk-free working environment that is safe from accidents and industrial illnesses. This includes protection against damaging noise levels.
This means, in workplaces where noise levels rise above 80dB, employers are legally required to put measures in place to reduce volume levels. If the industry is such that loud noises cannot be avoided, the Control Of Noise At Work Regulation mandates that employers must provide workers with adequate ear protection as well as information and training on how to use and care for the hearing protectors.
Employers who neglect to measure noise levels at the workplace or who do not provide protective equipment to workers are considered in breach of the regulations and an industrial deafness claim for compensation can be filed against them.