Workers in bars, pubs and clubs are being subjected to music so loud that they could permanently damage their hearing, according to a report by the TUC and the charity for deaf people, the RNID.
The study, Noise Overload, found that noise levels were so bad in many of the UK’s bars, pubs and clubs that, for some of the industry’s 568,000 workers, it was like working next to an aeroplane taking off.
More than 170,000 UK workers suffered deafness, tinnitus or other ear conditions, and not enough was being done to protect them from music played well above legal safe levels, the report said.
Bar, club and pub workers are due to get increased protection under tighter laws introduced by the European Union. But these will not apply to the leisure industry until 2008 and, without proper enforcement by local authorities, will be ineffective, argued the TUC and RNID.
TUC deputy general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is up to local authorities to monitor and enforce the rules put in place to protect employees from noise overload.”