Workers could be damaging their hearing when wearing headphones and headsets for work purposes and to listen to music while working, so it’s vital employers take steps to control the risks, says Stephen Wheatley.

Over the last 15 years or so, since the latest Control of Noise at Work Regulations came into force, most employers responsible for noisy workplaces have been aware of their legal duty to protect their employees’ hearing from high levels of noise. Noise can be defined as sound which you don’t want to hear, such as that from a loud machine or tool. In such workplaces, hearing protection and other control measures — including exposure monitoring and health surveillance — have become commonplace.

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