Hearing Survey Highlights Poor Communication
Posted in General on Aug 07, 2014
LATEST INFORMATION REVEALS WORKPLACE NOISE DISPARITY
When it comes to noise in the workplace, it seems that employers and employees are not quite on the same page…
Noise at work and industrial deafness are problems that can't afford to be ignored; it has been estimated that there will be a substantial rise in those affected by hearing loss in the upcoming decade. As a result of this, it is vital there is an effective consensus and understanding to help alleviate the problem.
However, new research has shown that there is a fundamental misunderstanding between employers and employees when it comes to noise at work and the amount of which employee's are being exposed to on a daily basis at their places of work.
The research was undertaken by Epic Hearing Healthcare. It looked at 1,500 workers in the United States, as well as their employers, asking the simple question of whether or not they believed that their workplace was a noisy one (which was defined as being so loud that an employee would have to raise their voice in order to be heard).
The results of the survey showed that over half (55%) of the respondents felt that their working environment was noisy for over one hour each day; in addition to this, more than a third (36%) felt that their workplace had elevated noise levels for at least 3 hours per day. While 9% of the respondents felt that their places of work were noisy for 5+ hours each day. Meanwhile, only 2% of employers of felt that their workplace fell into the 5+ hours a day of noise category.
Minor differences in responses are to expected in such surveys; however, a staggering 80% of employers felt that their workplace was hardly ever noisy. This figure clearly stands in stark contrast to the working environments that are being experienced by their employees.
The CEO of EPIC Hearing Healthcare commented on the findings, saying: ‚’This suggests that employers may be underestimating the noise levels faced by employees, which could have serious consequences, given that noise exposure is the most common and preventable contributor to hearing loss’.
Another interesting point which was highlighted by the survey: it was shown that 25% of the employee respondents claimed that they would be worried that their employer knew if they had some degree of hearing loss
In the United Kingdom, monitoring the amount of noise which employees are exposed to is now a legal requirement, thanks to the Noise at Work Act 2005. Workplace audiometry provides invaluable information on active hearing conservation programmes. Whilst this is helping to bridge the apparent gap between employers and employees when it comes to hearing, there is still much more that can be done.
If you're unsure of whether or not you're employees are being exposed to excessive amounts of noise, or would like further information about our employee hearing screening programs or our noise at work assessments – contact NOVA Acoustics today (on 0113 322 7977, firstname.lastname@example.org or the contact form on our website) to ensure that you're doing the best for your employees hearing and your business!