People who spend a lot of time listening to loud music risk permanent damage to their ears according to Dr David McBride, senior lecturer in occupational health at the Dunedin School of Medicine.
People listening to music on headphones should have them on half volume and those going into nightclubs should consider wearing earplugs.
“Any time you have to shout at a person an arm’s length away to be heard means you are in an environment that is too loud and you’re damaging your hearing.”
And what about the workers? If any of our staff is working with a fraction of the noise you get in many bars, cafes, restautants and nightclubs we’d have to supply them with ear muffs.
Does OSH not have anything to say about these noisy workplaces? And are there no requirements to protect the ears of the patrons?
Cigarette smoke was an OSH issue and, while cautious about the state interfering in private lives and businesses, I think noise should be too.
I am sick of evenings spent attempting to take part in conversations where no-one can hear properly even though everyone’s shouting.
Many’s the time I’ve just grinned and nodded, hoping desperately that was the appropriate response to what I was only half-hearing; many’s the time a quiet conversation has been ruined by loud music; and many’s the time an evening has finished very shortly after the band starts playing.
I don’t go into shops which play loud music and if I have a choice I leave social venues when loud music starts.
Modern building design and decor with lots of hard services and few if any soft furnishings to muffle the noise make matters worse.
But the root of the problem lies in the volume and therefore the solution is simple: PLEASE TURN IT DOWN – IT DOESN”T HAVE TO BE THAT LOUD.
(Part 1 of this post is here.)