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Industrial deafness » Professions at risk

There are hundreds of thousands of workers who risk their hearing every time they enter their workplace. Those involved in mining and manufacturing, the leisure industry and transportation, as well as jobs involving headsets, work in occupations that are particularly noisy.

Mining and manufacturing industries

The manufacturing industry can be divided into heavy industry and light industry. Heavy industry revolves around converting raw materials into more valuable processed goods, whilst light industry coverts partially processed goods into finished products.

Both of these types of manufacturing can involve the use of very noisy machinery to process the products. In the past, very little acknowledgement has been given to the hearing implications for the people who handle and manage these machines. Although things are now changing with the introduction of the Noise at Work Regulations, this kind of environment is still very noisy.

\"\\\"Industrial deafness has traditionally affected those involved in textiles, wood cutting, printing, stone -cutting, metal work, ship building, and engineering, as well as many other related professions.

The acquisition of raw products also usually involves loud noise as force is required to get the material out of the ground. Industrial deafness can therefore pose a real threat to those involved in mining and quarrying. A US study that looked at male miners found that 49% had hearing loss by the time they were 50, which compares with just 9% of the general population.The veracity of these figures is reflected in the number of work accident claims for industrial deafness made by mining workers.

Leisure industry

Although unpleasant noise from machinery affects many workers, pleasant noise can cause equal problems. Those working in leisure industries often spend many hours in an environment involving loud music. Nightclubs, pubs, and restaurants, which have an average noise level of between 95 and 98 dB, have been found to be the cause of industrial deafness for thousands of workers across the UK.

Not only do these high noise levels pose a problem for the people who work at the venue but they can also threaten the musicians themselves. It is a particularly important issue for musicians since their hearing is crucial to their career. Now aware of the risk, most DJs and band members wear ear plugs or some form of hearing protection.


Airline pilots are at risk of developing industrial deafness because levels of noise in the cockpit can be extremely high. In Europe, the accepted level is 80 dB, but in America, the industry is unregulated and many pilots feel that their health is compromised as a result.

However, there are some headsets on the market that can help to reduce the levels of noise that they suffer. For example, a lightweight active noise reduction headset can cut ambient noise levels by up to 50%.

The use of such protective headsets has been associated with a reduction of deafness compensation claims.

\"\\\"Call centres

However, not all headsets are good for hearing. Call centre staff, police, couriers, and other professions that use headsets are thought to be at risk from acoustic trauma, which is a type of sudden hearing loss.

Following research that found 15% of call centre workers were exposed to dangerously high noise levels, many companies have employed noise limiting devices to reduce the chance of workers suffering acoustic trauma.

Compensation for industrial deafness

If you have suffered noise-induced hearing loss in these workplace situations or in any other, you may well be able to make a personal injury claim. We are experts in industrial deafness cases and each year, together with our panel of no win, no fee solicitors, we help many people to make successful compensation claims against employers that have exposed them to high noise levels

You wont have to pay a penny to us or anyone else when making your claim. Our panel of personal injury solicitors work on a no win, no fee basis and you will be protected from costs and fees so whether or not your claim is successful, you will not have to pay a thing.

If you are considering a compensation claim for industrial deafness and wish to find out more, please call 01582 437070 or complete our online claim form.