Employers are legally bound on ear damage

29 October 1999

Employers are legally bound on ear damage

By Andy Collings

OVER 1.3m people are exposed to excessive noise levels at work – and are likely to have their hearing damaged, reports the HSE.

In an effort to make employers more aware of the problem and the potential long-term dangers, the HSE has published a leaflet which outlines an employers legal duties on providing ear protection and the types available.

Ear Protection – Employers Duties Explained advises on how to give proper instruction and training on the use of protection devices.

A second leaflet aimed at employees – Protect Your Hearing – provides information on when to wear ear protection, the importance of maintaining it, and tips on how to wear ear-muffs and ear-plugs correctly.

Ear protection may help workers in noisy situations but according to the HSEs Mike Shepherd controlling and reducing noise at source is the most effective means of reducing exposure levels.

"Ear protection is relied on to safeguard hearing but it should be considered only as a last resort," he says.

&#8226 Both leaflets are available free from HSE Books, PO Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA (01787-881165).

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