12 January 2015

First European Hearing Conservation Conference Announced

The Health & Safety Laboratory, part of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), is convening the first ever Europe-wide conference to look at the issues of noise-induced hearing loss. The conference, which will be held on Wednesday 2 March 2016 in Manchester, will bring together a variety of sectors, including construction, involved in hearing conservation in order to share ideas and drive change in the workplace.

Hearing damage from exposure to excessive noise is a preventable yet largely untreatable condition. The HSE takes the lead in enforcing the Control of Noise at Work Regulations in workplaces across the UK, which outline specific duties relating to managing noise. However, there remains a lack of real and long-term study data with respect to health outcomes.

The HSL conference entitled Listen Up! aims to:

• provide a forum to share information and best practice across sectors interested and active in hearing conservation
• discuss innovative solutions for preventing harm
• establish a current position on hearing conservation in Europe and enable key issues to be identified and prioritised as a strategy going forwards.

Over one million workers in the UK are exposed to noise above the legal action values and therefore at risk of hearing damage. Hearing loss also substantially increases the risks of accidental injury with impacts on labour productivity and economic growth costing the UK an estimated £18 billion.

You can find out more and register for the conference at the HSL website. The HSE also publishes guidance for employers on controlling noise at work.