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Monday, 17 June

No Need for a Hand to Cup if You Listen Up

Organised by the HSE, Listen UP! the First European Hearing Conservation Conference is being held next month in Manchester.

The HSE is the lead regulator enforcing the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) in Great Britain's workplaces and is looking to provide a forum for change through this first European conference for a multidisciplinary approach to hearing conservation.

It aims to bring together a range of interested parties involved in hearing conservation in order to learn and develop an understanding of how best to tackle the burden of noise induced hearing loss.

Disciplines represented will include health professionals and audiologists, acoustics and noise consultants, occupational hygienists, health and safety professionals, insurance and legal experts, unions, charities, government departments, industry and trade bodies.

The aims of the conference are:

  • To provide a forum to share information and best practice across disciplines interested and active in hearing conservation.

  • Allow sharing of innovative answers for preventing harm.

  • To establish a current position on hearing conservation in Europe and enable key issues to be identified and prioritised as a strategy.

  • To improve opportunities for success by establishing cross discipline discussions.

 

Facts that are deafening

Disabling hearing loss currently affects more than 10 million people in the UK and the problem is growing.  By 2031 it is anticipated that 14.5 million people in the UK will have a hearing loss. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that by 2030 adult onset hearing loss will be in the top 10 disease burdens in the UK, above cataracts and diabetes, suggesting the issue is set to attract increased attention.

In addition to an increase in social and leisure noise exposure for younger generations, the increasingly ageing working population means that more workers will exhibit signs of hearing impairment.  

The cost to the NHS alone in managing hearing loss in 2010/11 was estimated to be £450 million. It has an adverse impact on labour productivity and economic growth, costing the UK an estimated £18 billion in lost productivity and unemployment based on 2006 calculations. The UK insurance industry is currently paying £70 million per year in deafness related claims and there has been a substantial increase in the number of claims for noise induced hearing loss in recent years.

The conference takes place on 2 March 2016, Radisson Blu Hotel, Manchester Airport.

Picture: Hearing loss is a growing problem in the UK and it is the subject of an international conference next month organised by HSE

Article written by Mike Gannon

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