Hearing Damage Risk From Deceptive Sound Level Scale.

The issue of noise tolerance is known to be a key factor in failing to recognise the onset of noise induced hearing loss.
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Noise Induced Hearing Loss
Industrial Deafness
Hearing Damage
Hearing Loss


Manchester - Manchester, Greater - England

Jan. 12, 2012 - PRLog -- The issue of noise tolerance is known to be a key factor in failing to recognise the onset of noise induced hearing loss. Many men and women who worked on UK factory floors right up until the 1970s and 80s were constantly exposed to the excessive levels of noise produced by unshielded industrial machinery and the lack of ear protection, which eventually led to industrial deafness.

Unfortunately, monitoring for acceptable sound levels is extremely difficult due, not only to individual sensitivity, but also to the way that sound increases in intensity, which can be a deceptive cause of hearing damage. Noise is measured by a decibel scale (dBA) which will register an increase or decrease of just 3 dBA every time there is a doubling or halving of energy intensity.

The reason why the risk might be underestimated from a recorded reading is the perceived difference humans hear, which does not correspond to the actual harm that can be caused at determined sound levels. While we might believe that a daily continuous exposure limit to noise at the threshold level of 80 dBA has simply doubled in loudness from 70 dBA, in reality the energy intensity is ten times as much!

While exposure to sound levels below 80 dBA are unlikely to lead to hearing loss,  prolonged exposure to sound registering from 80 dBA upwards can cause hearing damage, and the risk increases as the sound level increases. Although there are now legal thresholds which clearly state the levels of noise allowed in different situations, it is impossible to set an objective noise level that would be unequivocally safe for all.

It should be remembered that the Health & Safety guidelines are that level of 80 dBA may be tolerated for up to 8 hours, but an increase of just 3 dBA to 83dBA reduces tolerance to just 4 hours and to is less than 15 minutes when reaching 95 dBA.

Under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2006, employers have a specific responsibility to inform their workforce of the risk of hearing damage when levels reach 80 dBa, which includes provision of ear plugs / defenders and the enclosure of noisy machinery.

If daily noise levels reach an average of 85 dBA, the wearing of ear protectors is compulsory by law and employers must ensure the workforce comply or risk prosecution. However, it is also the responsibility of all workers to ensure that they comply with the necessary precautions required to protect their hearing from noise-induced hearing loss.

This includes advising an employer to undergo a full noise assessment by an approved organisation, the designation of insulated excessive noise areas and fully complying with the correct wearing of ear protection.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.

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Offering clear information, advice and FAQ's on hearing loss and industrial related deafness.

Visit http://www.hearinglossadvice.co.uk for more information and advice.
Source:Hearing Loss Advice (Daren Bach)
Email:***@weprovoke.co.uk Email Verified
Tags:Noise Induced Hearing Loss, Industrial Deafness, Hearing Damage, Hearing Loss
Industry:Medical, Government, Health
Location:Manchester - Manchester, Greater - England
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