Almost 600,000 workers in the UK are at risk of suffering permanent damage to their hearing, according to new research.
Some 68 per cent of employers in the music and entertainment industry are ignorant of new legislation that comes into force in 2008 and 55 per cent do not have - and have no plans to introduce - hearing protection, says the Royal National Insititute for Deaf People (RNID).
The RNID says that the UK’s 568,000 bar, pub and club workers are being exposed to noise that could affect their hearing for the rest of their lives, but if employers comply with the law this could be prevented.
RNID's head of campaigns, Emma Harrison, said: "Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and if properly implemented these regulations will save the hearing of literally hundreds of thousands of people in the music and entertainment industries."
She went on to warn that employers who ignore the law or do not take enough care to protect their staff could face compensations claims.
The new Control of Noise at Work regulations comes into effect in April 2008.
The RNID estimates half a million people in the UK suffer deafness, hearing problems or other ear afflictions due to the work they do.
Recent government figures revealed that men were more likely than women to suffer from hearing impairment.