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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 01:52 GMT
Warning over hearing regulations
The new regulations will come into force next month
Firms have been warned that they could face a barrage of compensation claims from staff if they fail to heed moves to protect workers' hearing.

Tight regulations will come into force next month aimed at reducing workplace noise and protecting employees.

Hugh Robertson, of the TUC, said "a wave of compensation claims from staff" could occur if new rules were ignored.

The TUC has urged firms to replace noisy machinery, install materials that absorb sound and provide quiet areas.

These pleas have been made jointly with the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), who have called for companies to follow the new regulations.

Mr Robertson, the TUC's senior health and safety executive, said: "If properly implemented these regulations will save the hearing of literally hundreds of thousands of people.

"Better to rigorously enforce safe noise levels to prevent hearing damage, in industry but also entertainment and construction, than leave employees to go through the courts for compensation after their hearing has already been harmed."

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