Noise induced hearing loss in Great Britain
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the government’s response has impacted recent trends in health and safety statistics published by HSE. It has also affected certain data collections including those via the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme.
More details can be found in our technical report on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on health and safety statistics.
Statistics in this summary from annual new assessments for IIDB are based on data up to the end of year 2019. Assessments for IIDB were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and so statistics for 2020 are not comparable with previous years.
Estimated number of workers with work-related hearing problems, 2018/19 to 2020/211
New cases of occupational deafness in 20192
|Gender||Cases of occupational deafness|
Male / Female split of new cases for occupational deafness from 2010 to 2019
- Over the last ten years, just five of the 1,125 cases were female.
- Differences are likely to reflect smaller numbers of women having worked in jobs that meet the eligibility criteria for this condition.
More information on Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Great Britain
There is limited information available on work-related noise induced hearing loss. The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is HSE’s preferred data source and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) scheme is a further source of information. These sources present very different estimates. The LFS provides the estimated number of workers who self-report work-related ‘hearing problems’, including both new and longstanding cases. The IIDB figures include only annual new claims and these are based on a much stricter definition of ‘deafness’ in which claimants must have a substantial measured loss of hearing in both ears (greater than 50 dB).
The IIDB scheme will also tend to underestimate annual incidence for other reasons, including:
- Cases arising from circumstances other than those covered by the terms of the prescription;
- Individuals being unaware of the possible occupational origin of their disease;
- A lack of knowledge regarding the availability of compensation; and
- The scheme not including self-employed workers.
Hence, the LFS is the preferred source to judge the overall scale of the condition.
More information on the strengths and limitations of the LFS and IIDB as data sources is available on the HSE statistics website.
- Includes workers with new and longstanding hearing problems. Estimated using three years of the Labour Force Survey from 2018/19 to 2020/21.
- Latest year available for IIDB