News & views

Need help now?

Our advice centre has a lot of the information you need.

Read more

Community reps win better hearing protection

Community - 3rd March 2017

A group of Community members now have full and fair access to occupational health, including hearing tests, thanks to the scrutiny work of two local reps.

At the end of last year, Brintons Carpets Kidderminster were looking to introduce a health check system for its employees. When the application process was first introduced to workers, they felt it to be intrusive and not fit for purpose, there was concern that not all potential medical issues were covered correctly and the application requested more information than was necessary.

After taking the concerns of their members forward, our two Community reps Paul Mills and Alan Woodbine consulted and worked constructively with the company to grant members fairer access to the scheme. This period of scrutiny created a more balanced application process, and a better outlined investment from Brintons.

There is also now an active investment in hearing tests to help workers with hearing impairments and to prevent hearing loss, which amongst other workplace issues, is relieving a lot of stress from the workers and preventing any potential health risks that may worsen if left undetected.

Paul Mills, a member of Community’s National Executive and one of the reps for Brintons, said:

“This is a great turnaround for our members in Brintons. It was good that the company were looking to invest in a scheme, but as always these decisions need the feedback of the workforce to ensure no stone is left unturned. In an industry such as ours, our members are at increased risk of hearing issues due to the noise generated by the equipment over long periods of time, so for us to be offered hearing tests to detect potential hearing damage and to have better occupational health support in general is a brilliant outcome.”

Additionally, there are clearly marked pedestrian walkways and clearly marked areas where you must where hearing protection, hearing protection is available throughout the factory and offered to each worker, looms and other machinery are clearly marked with advisory or compulsory hearing signs and decibel levels are also shown if in advisory or compulsory areas. Over time, Community’s reps have worked with the company to ensure hearing protection is considered a priority in the workplace.

Today is World Ear Care day, which aims to draw attention to the economic impact of hearing loss and cost effectiveness of interventions to address it.