Pilot program for World Hearing Day – “Listen for Life”

A partnership with the World Health Organization’s “Make Listening Safe” Campaign in the UK aims to protect the health of those in the music industry by increasing their awareness of risks to hearing. Learn more from UK Audiologist, Rob Shepheard.

In conjunction with World Hearing Day 2023, the UK Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has partnered with the “Make Listening Safe” Campaign in the UK, an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase the awareness of avoidable risks to hearing and promote the WHO’s global standards on safe listening at venues and events.

NITA is a not-for-profit Trade Body that runs campaigns to support and protect the UK’s nightlife and music industry. In their pilot program for World Hearing Day, they aim to safeguard the hearing of everyone in the industry, from DJs to door staff, by increasing their awareness of the risks to their hearing health, and engaging with them on practical measures they can use to safely listen to the music they love and work in the industry for as long as possible.

Why prevention is key

It is sometimes not fully understood the irreversible impact listening to loud sound can have on many aspects of our health. For example, musicians and those working in, and enjoying music rich environments are much more likely to suffer hearing problems and tinnitus than people working in quieter occupations.1 As the NTIA’s audiologist, it is so encouraging to see the industry taking such a proactive step to maintain the health of everyone involved.

Compelling statistics

According to World Health Organization 1.1 billion young people (12-35 years old) are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices when enjoying recreational sound such as music.2

In the UK it was calculated by the Commission on Hearing Loss that the annual cost of hearing loss to the UK economy was £24.8bn, which will potentially rise to £38.6bn by 2031.3

Hearing loss is the biggest modifiable factor in a person’s life course that will increase the risk of dementia. Mild hearing loss doubles the risk; moderate hearing loss triples the risk; and a severe hearing loss means a person is five times more likely to suffer dementia.4

We believe the industry has a huge part to play in safeguarding peoples hearing across our sector, from bar staff, performers, security, and crew. Alongside the guidance developed by WHO, we are launching a campaign to work with the industry, to provide those who are concerned about their hearing health with guidance and solutions. In addition, we are funding a training and accreditation scheme which will make people aware of the impacts and the methods to safeguard their hearing.

NTIA is launching one of the most ambitious programs in the world to engage and inform all those working in or enjoying music, so that people can better avoid what is a completely unnecessary injury to their health and continue to enjoy listening to and hearing the music they love for as long as possible.

We look forward to collaborating with other organizations that have a genuine interest in conserving the health of all those involved.

We invite you to read a previous blog article by Rob Shepheard, Protect it or lose it – Now is the time for change!

To learn about the activities of the NTIA, visit their website NTIA Launch Campaign to Reduce Hearing Loss with World Health Organization “Make Listening Safe” Campaign – Night Time Industries Association

To learn more about the Make Listening Safe initiative, visit the World Health Organization website.


  1. The University of Manchester (2019). Musicians at serious risk of Tinnitus, researchers show. Retrieved from Musicians at serious risk of Tinnitus, researchers show (manchester.ac.uk).
  2. World Health Organization (2022). WHO Global standard for safe listening venues and events. Retrieved from WHO Global standard for safe listening venues & events.pdf.
  3. International Longevity Centre-UK (2014). Commission on Hearing Loss: Final Report. Retrieved from ID564 Commission on Hearing Loss- Final Report.indd (ilcuk.org.uk).
  4. Livingston, G., Huntley, J., Sommerlad, A., Ames, D., Ballard, C., Banerjee, S., … Mukadam, N. (2020). Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet, 396:413-46.

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