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Noise

Exposure to loud noise can cause irreversible hearing damage.

Noise is one of the commonest health problems in the textile industry and problems can be difficult to detect because the effects build up gradually over time. Take a look at the information on the following web pages to see what you need to do:

Case study: Textile worker

A 50-year old textile worker who suffers from noise-induced hearing loss has worked as a dyer in a dyehouse for more than 30 years. When he started, the old dyehouse had a wooden roof, which absorbed a lot of noise. Fifteen years ago, the company moved to a new dyehouse with a higher roof and installed machinery that operated on steam injection. It was much noisier, but nobody took the problem very seriously.

At first , the worker didn’t notice he was losing his hearing – he just kept on turning up the TV. But when he went to hospital for hearing checks, he found he had over 50% hearing loss in both ears – at that time he was 37 years old.

HIs hearing continued to deteriorate as he got older. Even with a hearing aid, he has lots of practical problems: he can’t use the phone unless he uses an amplifier, he has difficulty hearing people at the door, he can’t hear traffic until it is right on top of him and, when he is driving, he often stays in 3rd gear too long because he doesn’t hear the engine revving.

The worker doesn’t use his hearing aid at work because there’s too much background noise, so he feels very isolated.  If he’s made redundant – who’s going to employ a 50-year-old, deaf dyehouse worker?

It is hard on his wife because he’s dependent on her to help him function socially.  The money from his compensation claim won’t get his hearing back.  They are both frustrated at what they’ve lost and feel that their lives have been ruined.

Updated 2013-05-31