Evidence gathered from professional research surveys and governmental bodies identifies noise to be an increasing occupational hazard.
According to the Health and Safety Executive around 75 per cent of all industrial based compensation claims result from excessive noise complaints, with around 21,000 newly diagnosed cases per year.
What are the Symptoms of Industrial Deafness and how is it caused?
There are four categories of hearing loss – temporary loss, permanent loss, tinnitus and acoustic shock, all of which can be caused as a result of long term exposure to noise.
Temporary Loss - Being exposed to noise levels above 80 decibels can cause temporary hearing loss. If you are frequently subjected to this level of noise and suffer temporary hearing loss, it is possible you may develop permanent hearing loss in due course.
Permanent Loss - Continual or long term exposure to noisy environments can lead to permanent hearing loss. Eardrums may become perforated as a result of this, or the tiny hairs inside our ears may become damaged and no longer allow us to hear. Certain frequencies may be lost first, followed by a significant deterioration in hearing.
Tinnitus – Although tinnitus may be caused by other conditions, it is frequently diagnosed as a result of prolonged exposure to noise. Tinnitus sufferers experience ringing in the ears, but also buzzing, humming, sizzling and whirring may be encountered. The constant frustrating sensations may coincide with a pulse movement and can effect concentration and sleeping.
Acoustic shock - Acoustic shock is irreversible and can be described as a physical injury such as perforated ear drums. It can be caused by exposure to extremely loud noise, such as explosions, gun fire and impacts. But common sources such as short, intense bursts of high frequency sound associated with feedback from telephone headsets are also contributory to this category of hearing loss.
Although Department of Trade and Industry mandates that headsets sold in the UK should include a noise limit of 118 decibels, cheaper imports used may not incorporate this.
If you believe your hearing has suffered or been damaged as a result of your work environments, consult an industrial disease lawyer as soon as possible. You may qualify for compensation for your injuries.
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