Industrial Noise and Industrial Deafness

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:27 pm on 11th March 1983.

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Photo of Mr Laurie Pavitt Mr Laurie Pavitt , Brent South 2:27 pm, 11th March 1983

I do not wish to concentrate on the recompense aspect which has been so admirably put forward by my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Mr. Welsh) and by my right hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster (Mr. Walker). I declare not a financial interest but two special interests. I have one in each ear. I am profoundly deaf. I am principally concerned with prevention. I wish to underline some of the points made by my right hon. Friend. Deafness is a disability that receives little sympathy. People do not understand it because they cannot see it.

There are many things that can be done to deal with industrial deafness. First, I urge a lowering of the permitted level of decibels. Secondly, there should be a six-month check in occupational health services. That will not necessarily fall on the NHS; it could be done by a company medical officer. For example, Heinz, which makes excellent baked beans, operates a six-monthly check on all noise departments in its factories.

Thirdly, we think about mufflers, yet our knowledge of technology and acoustic ability means that we can reduce the acoustic level—

It being half-past Two o'clock, the debate stood adjourned.