Campaign For Wider Understanding Of Problem
Specialists at national law firm Irwin Mitchell are backing the latest annual campaign to raise awareness of the devastating impact that hearing problems such as tinnitus and industrial deafness can have on sufferers.
Founded by the New York-based Center for Hearing and Communication, the 16th International Noise Awareness Day is being held on April 27th.
The aim of the event, which is now supported by a number of hearing organisations across the world, is to highlight the terrible long-term consequences that exposure to noise can lead to for people in all walks of life.
Industrial deafness experts at Irwin Mitchell, who represent a number of people who have developed hearing problems as a result of their employer’s negligence to the issue, are supporting the campaign and its efforts to spread the message of the seriousness of such problems.
Mark Allen, an associate director and expert in industrial deafness claims at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, said: “The dangers of exposure to noise are often undermined by so many people, but we have seen first-hand the often life-changing impact that it can have.
“Working in a noisy environment for any length of time can lead to all kinds of hearing damage and subsequent problems, from tinnitus and acoustic trauma to temporary and often permanent loss of hearing.
“We hope that International Noise Awareness Day will help take the message of the dangers wider and also lead to a greater understanding of why employers in particular cannot bury their head in the sand on the issue.”
According to the Health and Safety Executive Labour Force Survey, an estimated 21,000 people who worked in 2009/10 were suffering from hearing problems believed to be work-related. A Medical Research Council survey undertaken in 1997/98 concluded that over 500,000 people were suffering with noise induced hearing loss. Hearing specialist Mark said now is the time for the number to fall.
“Companies need to follow all of the safety standards in place in relation to noise in the workplace, while they should also ensure that workers are given access to protective equipment – and training where necessary – to reduce their exposure,” he explained.
“Sadly, all too often we see the same mistakes being made again and again in relation to this. It is vital, for the sake of all of those who have and continue to suffer from hearing problems because of safety failings, that lessons are learnt from the past to ensure everyone is able to full hearing capabilities for as long as possible.”