Deafness risk to staff from 24hr drinking

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Indy Lifestyle Online

More than half a million people risk permanent hearing damage by working in dangerously noisy conditions, campaigners have warned.

It is feared that changes to the licensing laws that come into force on 25 November, allowing 24-hour opening, will mean staff in bars, clubs and pubs will be exposed to excessive noise for longer periods of time.

RNID, the charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, and the TUC fear extended opening will mean the 568,000 people working in the industry will be exposed to music so loud they could lose or permanently damage their hearing.

RNID, which represents the nine million people, and the TUC are urging employers to protect workers' hearing. Excessive noise in the workplace has already caused half a million people in Britain to suffer deafness or other ear complaints.

Brian Lamb, from the RNID, said: "Noise-at-work issues are usually associated with industries such as manufacturing and construction. However, with more licensed premises opening longer and playing loud, amplified music, staff working in bars, clubs and pubs might not realise their hearing is being put at high risk. Since noise-induced hearing loss is not immediately obvious, its threat is seldom ... taken seriously."