Skip to content

Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


Editorial Archive

Silence is not golden...

October 2012
Sheila Pantry OBE

For the thousands of workers who suffer from industrial deafness - the topic that was discussed at the UK Northern TUC Health and Safety Forum on Friday, 28 September 2012 was of great importance.

Many people assume the affects of exposure to excessive levels of noise affects mainly workers in heavy industry but the reality is that in the UK over one million people are affected by noise in the workplace and over 17,000 people currently suffer from work-related noise induced hearing loss. Consider the enormous number of workers that suffer worldwide.

Noise at work can cause hearing damage that is permanent and disabling and once a person's hearing is destroyed they do not recover from it. Hearing loss is not the only problem as sufferers may go on to develop tinnitus, a distressing condition which can lead to disturbed sleep and hypersensitivity to noise. In addition there is the noise interference acoustic shock, a problem identified within call centres. 'Acoustic Shock' is a term used in connection with incidents involving exposure to short duration, high frequency, high intensity sounds through a telephone headset or handset.

However, the UK Control of Noise at Work Regulations does not include specific reference to acoustic shock. The UK Communication Workers Union (CWU) is continuing to fight for recognition of acoustic shock as a potentially devastating industrial injury problem and has worked with its lawyers, Simpson Millar to achieve compensation for those members suffering personal injury. It is interesting to note that all CWU litigation cases concerning acoustic shock have been settled out of court before a precedent judgement could be made. The first 120 cases the CWU took up resulted in total compensation of £279,881.00 for members affected by acoustic Shock (it is believed the UK figure is now around £2 million paid out by employers in out of court settlements).

There is a vast array of control of noise full text and bibliographic information available in the electronic collection of databases in OSH UPDATE

This month's FOCUS asks How good is your leadership in occupational safety and health? and offers the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) list that is designed to check your status as a leader on health and safety!

If budget constraints do not allow you to buy all the journals, newsletters and documents that contain the latest information or you do not have the time to search for the latest information, legislation and standards then try the very affordable and reliable and easy to use services OSH UPDATE and FIREINF from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

Information Seekers will find a wealth of authoritative and validated advice from around the world in these well established electronic services. Best practices, case studies, journal articles, conference proceedings, research reports, legislation, standards are all in OSH UPDATE and FIREINF as either full text documents or bibliographic records.

Ask for a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIALs contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | e-mail: | or fill in the Interest form

OSHWORLD - your portal to some of the best OSH web sites in the world

Globally there is a continual stream of new advice and guidance - new document titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a number of authoritative sources such as the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the UK Health and Safety Executive, SafeWork Australia and US NIOSH.

You can use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites which you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. nanotechnology, driving as a job and smoke free workplaces.

Look further into the portal OSHWORLD and view the latest additions. In these days of tighter budgets perhaps training may be put on the "back-burner" - but think again how you can keep up with the latest techniques and training opportunities.

As 2012 advances and despite the recession an increasing number of conferences, seminars and training courses are being listed in the Diary of Events and you will find these being held in many places in the world and on a wide range of subjects.

It is always good to review health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures on a regular basis. It is also important that the practices and systems in the workplace are constantly reviewed and if necessary, improved. This review may also indicate training requirements and updates and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of charge OSHWORLD can help you find the right course, seminar or conference.

Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details - where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that I can add them to the Diary send to

Remember to look at the Products and Services on this OSHWORLD web site and see what is new and updated.

Also look at our that give you access to many organisations, their products and services. You may also wish to add your company's information to the listing for free!

You can sign up for the RSS feed that alerts you each time there is a update in OSHWORLD!

OSH UPDATE was described recently as a "brilliant site"!

Don't work harder - work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Are you hoping to have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy record this year in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying!

And do continue to make plans for your campaigns for the rest of 2012 and beyond!