National Safety Editorial April 2018


Hearing is one of our most precious senses and when damaged can affect job performance, health, as well as personal and occupational productivity. Hearing damage from noise is fully preventable when the right precautions are taken. Despite all that is known about noise and its effects on health, NIHL remains one of the most commonly reported occupational diseases.

Hearing Conservation

Implementing a Programme of Hearing Conservation in the Workplace

We have come a long way since the early days of the industrial revolution, a period that was characterised by a general disregard by factory owners for the health of their workers. However, despite copious legislation regarding health and safety in the workplace, the incidence of industrial injury remains unacceptably high. While pneumoconiosis and asbestosis may now be less of a concern, the threat to workers’ health continues. Not life-threatening, but certainly life-changing, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) has now become the most common form of industrial injury. Yet, with a suitable programme of hearing conservation, this too is preventable.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Are You Sufficiently Protected Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?

Towards the end of their 30s, most people’s ability to hear begins to deteriorate. The process, however, is a gradual one, and in most cases, those affected will experience no significant difficulties until quite late in life. Known as presbycusis, it is simply another manifestation of the aging process and, much like wrinkles, will be more marked in some subjects than in others. Of far greater concern than the effects of the advancing years, however, is the fact that the noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) has become the most prevalent form of auditory impairment.