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Failure to recognise tinnitus which could be caused by work accidents

There is of course a tremendous risk of work accidents occurring whatever type of industry you are in, but a recent news report has revealed that work injuries such as tinnitus could be owing to workers' failure to recognise when noise is damaging their ears.

A survey carried out by the Royal National Institute for Deaf (RNID) people and the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), in which over 1,000 people were interviewed, found that many people believed that the noises they could hear were coming from neighbours, traffic, or a household appliance.

This is supported by the fact that more than 2,000 complaints about noise are received by the environmental health service across the UK every year by people who are suffering from tinnitus but are blissfully unaware.

Many work environments are fairly noisy and if employees start to experience a ringing in their ears they may well put it down to the whir of a factory machine, the constant ringing of a phone in a call centre or they may simply believe that they are just hearing the buzz of traffic from the main road just outside their office. The reality may be a serious work injury such as tinnitus, which can be a warning sign of noise-induced hearing loss.

RNID chief executive, Dr John Low has commented on the issue, saying, "These survey results reveal that thousands of people are potentially unaware of tinnitus meaning they could be missing out on vital support to help them manage their condition."

With the BTA celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2007, awareness of tinnitus is more important among British citizens than ever before and both the BTA and the RNID plan to issue advice on how tinnitus can be differentiated from external noise. Read more about the BTA's 15th anniversary.

BTA chairman, Ewart Davies suggests that the best way to identify whether you have tinnitus or not is to go to a very quiet place and see whether you continue to hear a ringing or buzzing noise.

It is of course the responsibility of employers to make sure that their employees are not put at risk of sustaining workplace injuries as a result of either a work accident or noisy work conditions; otherwise they may face having costly personal injury compensation claims made against them.

If you fear that you may be suffering from tinnitus or a related condition you should consult a medical professional.

For more information about injuries and accidents at work as well as the causes and effects of tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss visit