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Echo Barrier Blog

Noise experts urge employers to check sound levels during National Tinnitus Awareness Week

Posted by Magnet on May 24, 2016 10:40:00 AM | Uncategorised

Noise reduction experts Echo Barrier are this week urging employers to check sound levels on their work sites to ensure they meet acceptable standards, as the British Tinnitus Association marks Tinnitus Awareness Week.

Approximately one million people in the UK are at risk of developing tinnitus as a result of exposure to excessive workplace noise. This is a particular risk for those who come into contact with loud noise regularly, in industries such as construction and demolition, rail, music venues and concerts and call centres.
Peter Wilson, Technical Director at Echo Barrier, who produce a portfolio of products to minimise workplace noise said: “If your job consistently exposes you to noise levels of 80dB or more, then you could develop industrial deafness or tinnitus, and your employer has a duty to minimise this risk.” To put this figure into context, normal conversation measures around 60-66dB.

To mark Tinnitus Awareness Week, Echo Barrier have identified the top occupations where noise poses a serious health problem. Top of the list is the airport ground staff who direct jet engines in landing and take-off and are subjected to noise levels of up to 140 decibels (dB), more than 1000 times the sound energy at the noisiest of music events.
Close behind are Formula One Drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, who, when seated in the cockpit right in front of the engine deal with noise levels reaching 135 dB. Also in the list are construction workers, who are exposed to noise all day long on building sites around the UK. The loudest tool used is the hammer drill which registers an ear-shattering 120dB. He said: “Working for years in a noisy job significantly increases the risk of serious hearing difficulties. “Workers can lessen the risk by protecting ears with earplugs or other hearing protection devices at all times but employers need to be aware of how damaging noise pollution can be – and not just for their employees. “Noise pollution can also have a devastating effect on people who come into contact with a noisy place of work – such as a building site.
It can cause headaches, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, depression and insomnia. “As a company, we provide acoustic barriers which significantly lessen the impact of such noise pollution on the local community.”
Figures from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work suggest occupational deafness caused by exposure to high noise levels at work is one of the most prevalent forms of ill-health in the United Kingdom. It estimates that over two million people in the UK are regularly exposed to loud noise at work and about 1.1 million are exposed to levels above 85 dB, where there is a significant risk to health.

Echo Barrier offer a service where they can measure the levels of sound on a work site and can recommend actions to be taken to minimise risk. For more information about tinnitus, visit the British Tinnitus Association website, For more information about Echo Barrier visit

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