Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the biggest occupational health problems facing the UK. It was reported that 19,000 cases of NIHL were caused or made worse by work between 2009/10 and 2011/12 .
Despite NIHL being 100 per cent preventable, new cases are frequently reported in manufacturing, construction, extraction, energy and water supply industries, highlighting that it is a problem that still needs to be tackled.
As part of its commitment to safety, Arco, the UK’s leading supplier of safety equipment and products, has developed an Expert Guide designed to provide guidance on managing and preventing hearing loss in the workplace. This guide goes hand in hand with Arco’s comprehensive range of noise detection and hearing protection products to help businesses keep employees safe at work, including ear plugs, ear muffs, high-noise communication systems and validation solutions.
Sally Clayton, Hearing Product and Procurement Manager at Arco explained, “Whilst noise induced hearing loss is permanent and irreversible, it is also preventable. It is a gradual process that can take between 10 and 20 years to surface and sadly by that time, it is often too late to reverse.
“Whilst ensuring employees are adequately protected, there are also several things businesses can do to limit the number of people exposed to high levels of noise, including adopting working hours to restrict noisy activities to certain periods of the day and reducing the need for noisy assembly practices by fabricating off-site where possible. After these preventative measures have been taken, protective equipment will help to protect from the residual risks.”
Annie Berrisford, Engineer Operations and Sponsorship for the BLOODHOUND SSC Project, explained how high-noise communication systems are integral to her working environment, “This year the BLOODHOUND SSC Project has been doing key testing of the hybrid rocket system at Newquay. This involved testing the rocket and its power unit – a Cosworth formula one engine. We were working in a very harsh noise environment – involving running the Cosworth engine at full revs – 18,000rpm, for the tests as well as for warm up. The nature of this testing meant we needed good communications within the building as well as externally over a range of up to 300 metres. The Sensear Headsets provided by Arco worked extremely well within this aggressive environment. Our highly experienced team (who have worked in F1 motorsport and aerospace) have all commented on the success of the headsets.”
To help businesses, Arco’s training division, Arco Training and Consultancy, has partnered with Cirrus Research PLC, noise measuring experts, to provide the three-day Noise Assessment and Principles of Application course. The course has been specifically designed for people who have responsibility for undertaking noise surveys and/or are considering buying noise measuring equipment and covers noise for a diverse range of industries.
For further information on the Expert Guide, Arco products or training, contact your local sales office or visit one of the 41 trade counters located across the UK.