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RR664 - Musicians' hearing protection: A review

The music and entertainment industry is unique in that high noise levels are often regarded as an essential element for the enjoyment of people attending concerts and live music events. However, there is a risk of hearing damage for people working in the music and entertainment industry, including musicians. One of the methods used to reduce noise exposure is the use of appropriate hearing protection. Many different types of hearing protection have been marketed for musicians including premoulded earplugs, custom-moulded earplugs and in-ear monitors.

In order to support the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) understanding of this issue, the types of hearing protection available to musicians were identified. Telephone interviews were then conducted with nineteen professional musicians to collect information on: the type of hearing protection (if any) musicians are currently using; musicians’ attitudes to hearing protection including whether they think it is, or it can be, effective and whether it allows them to do their job effectively; and the factors musicians consider important when choosing hearing protection.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19