It seems that children and adolescents make more noise than bulldozers, machines and jackhammers. Those who teach and take care of children suffer the consequences.
Teachers suffer greatly from the noise. Almost 70 percent of classroom teachers and 80 percent of other teachers and counselors in pre-school and after-school programmes say that they are adversely affected by the noise. These rates are much higher than those of other professions.
Among mechanics and employees in the lumber industry, for example, about 60 percent find the noise in their workplaces uncomfortable.
Sick-days due to noise
The trend is worsening for those most at risk. From 1990 to 2000, the share of teachers bothered by the noise doubled to seven in 10, according to a study carried out by the for the Danish Work Environment Institute. The work environment study included 5,000 Danish wage earners.
The teachers are justified in their sense of being at risk. According to Swedish data, various categories of teachers have more sick-days due to noise than any other professional group. Noise is given as the reason for 7-9 percent of the sick-days among teachers. Among construction workers in the building industry, traditionally considered a noisy profession, noise figures as the reason for seven percent of the sick-days.
In 2001, 1,168 Swedes reported work-related injuries resulting from noise. This is equal to 5 percent of all Swedish reports of work related injuries, wrote Auris, the periodical for hearing impaired Swedes.
Sources: "Tjek på dit arbejdsmiljø", Politiken, 24. juni, 2003, and Auris - Tidsskrift for Hörselsskadade 4, 2003.
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