To coincide with World Hearing Day on the 3rd March 2019 – Plextek are pleased to announce we are Founder Members of the UK Hearing Conservation Association (UKHCA), which aims to be a credible, independent source of information, providing practical advice and solutions to common noise and hearing problems inside and outside the workplace.
About the UKHCA:
Our mission is to prevent damage to our Nation’s hearing health and to reduce other noise related health conditions by promoting practical, evidence-based and cost-effective solutions. The UKHCA has been established to provide impetus for action against wholly preventable hearing health harm, both at work and across our society. Our experience has shown that the approach to managing work related noise is often based on outmoded ideas and there is a general lack of knowledge about or respect for our hearing and how it can be harmed.
Why hearing health is such a problem:
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.
Over 1 million workers in the UK are exposed to noise that puts them at risk of hearing damage. In addition, an increase in social and leisure noise exposure, particularly for younger generations, and an increasingly ageing working population means that more people will exhibit signs of hearing impairment in our workplaces.
Recreational hearing loss is also on the rise primarily as a by-product of rapidly increasing headphone use. The risk to the hearing of individuals who work in high ambient noise environments and who also wear headsets escalates dramatically, through additional exposure received recreationally at live events or using headphones to listen to music.
- Hearing impairment results in high personal, societal and economic costs.
- Hearing loss has a significant effect on communication and may result in exclusion and disadvantage in education, employment, social care and public life.
- Hearing loss substantially increases the risks of accidental injury.
- Hearing loss has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia by up to 5 times.
- Hearing loss impacts labour productivity and economic growth, costing the UK an estimated £18 billion in lost productivity and unemployment annually.
- The UK insurance industry is currently paying £70 million per year in hearing related claims and there has been a substantial increase in the number of claims for noise induced hearing loss in recent years.
Who are the UKHCA?
The UKHCA are a group of passionate and experienced professionals from across a variety of disciplines and associations, brought together to provide a unified and coherent approach to tackling noise and its effects.