Nine out of 10 pubs in a Sussex city are too loud and are putting their staff at risk of hearing damage, health and safety inspectors have said.
Research was carried out in Brighton ahead of new laws which came into force in April to control noise at work.
Inspectors said they were visiting all venues playing music to advise managers about the changes in the law, and their responsibilities.
They found a number of workers who had already suffered hearing problems.
Most staff interviewed did not consider noise levels to be excessive and were not concerned about future hearing problems.
But some workers had already had problems and had left previous jobs because of noise.
Inspectors said they were also working with universities to raise awareness among students who may be planning on working in pubs, clubs and bars.
Under the Control of Noise at Work regulations, a workplace is too noisy if employees, standing about 7ft (2m) apart, have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation.