A quarter of the UK workforce use headphones while at work, putting them at increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
The study by LimitEar also revealed that almost half (48%) of the respondents are concerned about losing their hearing, showing a growing need for employers to protect their staff effectively.
Yet despite the regulations being in place to protect UK employees, the majority of respondents (79%) are unaware that their employer is legally required to protect them from Noise Induced Hearing Loss.
Industry experts – including the UK’s national independent watchdog for health and safety – are highlighting the need for employers to protect staff and themselves from the emerging risk of occupational Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).
“With digital developments in music and audio devices, it’s becoming more commonplace for people to plug in their own headphones or earphones whilst at work,” said Stephen Wheatley, Managing Director at LimitEar. “This research is representative of Britain’s workforce generally but hundreds of thousands of employees – such as call centre workers and emergency services – are required to use headphones occupationally so are significantly more at risk of NIHL.”
“We’re extremely concerned by these findings – and question how loudly people are listening to their headphones for such long periods of time,” said Ralph Holme, Head of Biomedical Research at Action on Hearing Loss. “It’s crucial that employers take responsibility for noise levels at work and put practical steps in place to ensure that employees’ hearing is protected.”