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Leadership in the workplace about Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Kiwis showing leadership in the workplace about Noise Induced Hearing Loss

The National Foundation for the Deaf is calling for registrations for its annual online fundraising event on the 4 August called ‘The Silent Leadership Challenge;’ this is to raise awareness about Noise Induced Hearing Loss in the workplace and the consequences of losing hearing, which can be an invisible disability in the community for the 880,350 New Zealanders with hearing loss .

Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is caused by single instances of extreme noise and prolonged exposure to noise can lead, respectively, to sudden or gradual sensorineural hearing loss, as a result of damage to the sensory cells. NIHL is commonly associated with occupational-related noise in industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and construction and may occur with noisy leisure pursuits like mowing the lawns or listening to loud music.

The Silent Leadership Challenge requires participants to undergo some challenging communication tasks in the workplace and at home, wearing bright yellow hearing protectors to simulate deafness. The challenge will include communicating and participating in one to one meetings, a team meeting in the workplace and watching television, whilst wearing the provided ear protectors.

Since The National Foundation for the Deaf recently opened registrations for the 2017 ‘Silent Leadership Challenge’ campaign, 118 New Zealand entities are already demonstrating their leadership in creating awareness about Noise Induced Hearing Loss by registering online to take part in the fundraising campaign. Many of the registrations are made up of teams with hundreds of people participating. These leaders come from the public and private sector, a range of large companies and small businesses, schools and experts in the hearing sector, such as audiologists.

The Foundation’s ‘Silent Leadership Challenge’ campaign manager, Lisa Talbot says: “We’ve found that getting involved in the challenge can have a powerful effect on people in the workplace - it really does create understanding to think twice about being exposed to noisy sounds over 85DB and using protectors.”

MSA The Safety Company providing the hearing protectors for The Silent Leadership Challenge, is a company that embrace change and encourage innovation.

MSA is an organisation fully committed to protecting the health and safety of their customers, and they spend countless hours developing, testing, and evaluating their products to ensure they achieve their goals. Their satisfaction and safety are our top goals, every day.

The National Foundation for the Deaf looks forward to others joining the cause. To register for the ‘Silent Leadership Challenge, people can go to

Upon registration they will be sent a free welcome pack containing hearing protectors to stimulate what it is like to be hard of hearing. The site also provides a guide to the three short challenges that can be actioned during one working day.

Registrations are still open until 3rd August for the challenge on Friday, August 4th. The funds raised from the ‘Silent Leadership Challenge’ will enable The National Foundation for the Deaf to maintain its advocacy work and educate New Zealanders on the impact that hearing loss can have long term.

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