Health and Safety in UK going more and more mad
TEACHERS MUST WEAR EARPLUGS WHEN TEACHING MUSIC
The warning, from the Health and Safety Executive, comes because beginners tend to play their instruments much louder than professionals.
When officials visited a school, they found that noise from a cornet, the worst offending instrument, reached 140 decibels. The sound equates to a plane taking off.
The HSE sets the safe daily limit for exposure to a prolonged noise at 80 decibels.
Other instruments that could do long-term damage to teachers include the saxophone, which is a potential risk after 15 minutes, while conducting a brass, woodwind and percussion orchestra can be done safely for only 19 minutes.
They warn that a school that allows staff to be exposed to the cornet without protection could be in breach of noise regulations.
Its website says: “Sounds peaking above 140dB are liable to cause immediate and lasting damage rather than accumulating over time.
“It is therefore crucial that a thorough noise control strategy is in place before any exposure to loud noise might occur.”
It recommends teachers standing behind screens or making sure they do not stand directly in the line of an instrument.
Other suggestions include playing larger rooms or rooms with special sound-absorbent materials.
If they do use screens, however, they have to be careful not to place them in a manner that the sound would reverberate back to the child, putting them in added danger.