hearing loss and legal etc.

Subject: hearing loss and legal etc.
From: Adrian Moore (a.j.moore@sheffield.ac.uk)
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 08:53:24 EDT

I was very interested in the debate about excessive use of gain at concerts.
As a concert provider myself, I try to build an excellent system with
both clarity and power.
I do not provide level readings to performers and assume that their hearing is
'roughly' the same as mine.

I asked a colleague whether I would be liable if, as promoter, sound
levels 'got out of hand'.
I was informed that it would be extremely unlikely that a concert
producer, performer
or manufacturer of sound equipment would be held liable under UK law.

This is because there is a common defence in actions for damages of
'volenti non fit
injuria' (i.e. consenting to running the risk is a total defence).
An English court would say that anyone who went to loud gigs or
listened to amplified music at home
had voluntarily assumed the risk of hearing damage.

I was informed that the USA courts would not view the case the same way.
After all THEY allowed a claim for by a person who was scalded by a cup of
McDonald's coffee bought in a drive-thru and clamped between the
driver's thighs.....

Consequently I see more often a maximum SPL slipping into H+S
guidelines: which is no bad thing.


...a recent risk assessment undertaken by the MoD found that the people
most at risk of hearing damage were members of military bands (in the
artillery they can wear ear defenders!)

Dr. Adrian Moore, Sheffield University, Music Department, 38 Taptonville Road
Sheffield. S10 5BR. UK - [tel] 44 (0)114 2220486  [fax]  44 (0) 114 222 0469
http://www.adrianmoore.co.uk // Personal
http://www.sonicartsnetwork.org // Sonic Arts Network
http://www.electrocd.com/bio.e/moore_ad.html // Bio and CD
http://www.shef.ac.uk/music // Music Department
http://www.shef.ac.uk/usss // University of Sheffield Sound Studios

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