All headphone or earpiece users risk hearing damage if their hearing dose exceeds recognised safe listening levels. That is why the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) promotes safe listening by encouraging employer risk assessments and the adoption of safe practice by using a combination of environmental awareness (ambient noise) and noise reduction technologies.
Occupations at risk of NIHL
Some jobs are more exposed to risk than others. Any occupation that involves long periods of exposure to reproduced sound runs the risk of exceeding safe dose limits. It’s important for employers and employees alike to understand how to listen safely, help avoid NIHL and ensure they are compliant with the requirements of the 2005 Noise at Work Act.
Hearing Protection in Broadcast TV & Radio, Film and Theatre
Working in the broadcast, film and theatre industries inevitably means exposure to reproduced sound for a wide variety of key roles. From Camera Operators and Sound Engineers at live events to desk editors, presenters, floor managers and production staff. When working in “live” environments, there is often poor isolation from ambient noise and this will result in a user boosting volume levels from the earpiece, in an effort to hear all the communications. Some operatives, such as presenters, frequently favour one ear for communications which, over long periods, can result in severe damage to that ear.
Hearing Protection When Working with Music
Professional musicians spend their lives being exposed to reproduced sound, whether as part of a live performance or during the hours spent composing and rehearsing. Such lengthy periods of exposure pose a real risk of exceeding safe dose limits which can lead to NIHL. Likewise, DJs and Audio Producers also work with high levels of reproduced sound for long periods, be it in the studio or in a live environment, meaning they too are at risk of developing Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
A wide range of other occupations involve being exposed to high levels of reproduced sound and therefore also carry the risk of developing noise induced hearing loss. From contact centre employees to security staff at live events, emergency services in-vehicle operatives and a number of military roles including frontline battlefield and command centre support staff, there is a huge variety of roles where hearing protection should be used. In each case, the working environment should be assessed in order to ensure operatives don’t have to listen to reproduced sound at potentially harmful levels.
Hearing Protection Solutions
LimitEar have developed a range of hearing protection technologies to help professionals monitor their hearing dose easily and listen through headphones safely. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to know more about these technologies or discuss how you can protect your employees and yourself.