The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Musician wins ruling over hearing damage

The case won by Chris Goldscheider has huge implications for the industry and the health and safety of musicians.

It is the first time a judge has scrutinised the music industry's legal obligations towards musicians' hearing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,467 Posts
Does this mean that I can sue for my noise induced hearing loss suffered while working in bars over the years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I would think all bands, orchestras and any professional musical group would be wise to demand everyone wear ear protection or sign a waiver.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,111 Posts
Interesting case, though not entirely clear it sets a clear precedent. What is a bit distinctive is that he is a viola player and this was, as near as one can tell, his primary source of income, with not much else available in the way of gainful employment for viola players. (Look in listings of musician jokes and there are probably as many about viola players as there are for accordions).

What is a bit of a head-scratcher is just exactly who bears responsibility for the SPLs that damaged his hearing. Obviously it's the musicians making the racket, but it is also the conductor waving the stick that makes things louder. My younger son played trombone in his high school's concert band, and the trombones were always seated directly in front of the drummer, who was loud and rather rhythm-challenged. Should the closest source of loud sound be to blame for his hearing loss? My sense is that, the burden of responsibility was passed on to the employer, being the ROH, simply because they were the employer. The court seems to have treated it like what would happen if a ballerina fell off the front of the stage, or a guest slipped on the ice leaving your front door: your premises, your responsibility. But are they supposed to interfere with the conductor, and direct him/her to "keep it down"? I mean, it's clear that some compensation is warranted because the guy has been blasted out of being able to earn a living, through no fault of his own. But whose fault is it, when it comes to providing that compensation?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,250 Posts
I would argue that perhaps it is a person's respnsibility to be aware of their job and, in this case, get earplugs.

Also, and this is probably what helped win the case: 130db is litterally illegal (for exactly this reason).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,863 Posts
I understand it was a case of acute acoustic trauma...in UK :
I am surprised the prevention aspect of the issue was not already addressed.
Anyway, it is why nobody should never be exposed to 130 db noise.

If you have to yell to be heard by an immediate bystander, the "noise" is too loud !
If you experience tinnitus after practice or show, there could be a problem...

"La Guilde des musiciens & musiciennes" (Quebec) studied the problem many years ago.

Musicians suffering hearing loss should be covered as any other worker against noise induced hearing loss.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,250 Posts
Do I bring a decibel meter to practice, or...
No, it's so much easier to just bring plugs; if you do it to yourself there's no one to sue. It's not enforced much, but technically that would be the establishment's responsibility (the Opera or the bar/venue - if you have a multi-thousand dollar PA it is not unreasonable to expect that you'd have a $50 Radio Shack SPL meter... most modern digital consoles will have an RTA with SPL level display built in and most 'venues' have now 'upgraded' so they actually have it, and completely ignore it).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,350 Posts
No, it's so much easier to just bring plugs; if you do it to yourself there's no one to sue. It's not enforced much, but technically that would be the establishment's responsibility (the Opera or the bar/venue - if you have a mulkti-thousand dollar PA it is not unreasonable that you'd have a $50 Radio Shack SPL meter... most modern digital consoles will have an RTA with SPL level display; most 'venues' have now 'upgraded').
We sell ear plugs at our shows, but most people don't buy them before we play :/...
 
  • Like
Reactions: zontar

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
25,111 Posts
No, it's so much easier to just bring plugs; if you do it to yourself there's no one to sue. It's not enforced much, but technically that would be the establishment's responsibility (the Opera or the bar/venue - if you have a multi-thousand dollar PA it is not unreasonable to expect that you'd have a $50 Radio Shack SPL meter... most modern digital consoles will have an RTA with SPL level display built in and most 'venues' have now 'upgraded' so they actually have it, and completely ignore it).
I was kind of wondering how anyone actually knew it had reached 130db, and what may have been used as evidence in court. I don't expect there is any equivalent of a flight recorder on the console, unless the rehearsal was recorded.

Maybe now we know the basis of Hitler's fascination with Wagner: he was planning a Jericho-like use of crescendos to destroy armaments and Allied soldiers'hearing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,610 Posts
I would argue that perhaps it is a person's respnsibility to be aware of their job and, in this case, get earplugs.

Also, and this is probably what helped win the case: 130db is litterally illegal (for exactly this reason).
This is what I was thinking too. If you aren't smart enough to protect your own well-being, should society pay for your lack of common sense? I guess the answer is yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
This is what I was thinking too. If you aren't smart enough to protect your own well-being, should society pay for your lack of common sense? I guess the answer is yes.
I had the same thought. You would think people would understand that they need to protect their hearing. However, there may have been mitigating circumstances not revealed in the article and that is only a guess. I also wonder the same thing when I hear about members on music forums complaining they have damaged hearing from going to concerts, playing in bands, jamming, etc and not protecting their ears.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,238 Posts
We sell ear plugs at our shows, but most people don't buy them before we play :/...
I wear ear plugs when playing with the band and to all shows I got since the last 7 years or so. I always get the funny look specialy in punk shows. Even my friends make jokes about the facts I have plugs in all my coats, pocket, guitar cases...

I went to a show once and they were giving ear plugs at the door, I got supply for almost a year, nobody wanted them.

Used to work in Costco's distribution center in the fridge. The cooling units are noisy. I was one of the only guy (out of 300 empolyes) that wear them. I don't understant why people don't want to keep their earing.
Maybe I am more sensitive since I discovered that I only have one useful ear (born that way but not I have scientific proofs).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
I'm wondering why his was the only hearing "damaged".
Were there no other musicians sitting beside or around him?
Or do viola players have particularly thin eardrums, and particular tiny tiny ossicles,
and very very fragile stereocilia?

Shouldn't it become a class action suit, involving any other person near him?
Easy enough to calculate using the inverse square law,
to determine how many people were in the "Danger Zone" during the concert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,887 Posts
When it smells like a fish its because it is completely stinky what a bunch of bull even if they recorded it there is no way to determine the decibels after the fact while we know that noise pollution can cause damage we also know that there is no way to prove some of his symptoms. I know my doctors check my hearing ever so many years after playing in front of stacks of amps and work ( chain saws to rock drillers ) how do you prove which one is the one the first caused the damage and just how much damage there is.
So it sounds like it is a question of really whom do you believe in this case the plaintiff or the ROH and how do you prove that it happened during that rehearsal I think that if they went back and decided to fight the ruling it would be reversed, I agree that musicians should be protected from excessive sounds but as musicians we know what we can handle and what we can't>
Lets just say I am skeptical about his claims that he can't even cook or other things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,577 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
[QUOTE="R.S.Fraser Sr., post: 2076825, member: 5854"]I'm wondering why his was the only hearing "damaged".
Were there no other musicians sitting beside or around him?

Or do viola players have particularly thin eardrums, and particular tiny tiny ossicles,
and very very fragile stereocilia?

Shouldn't it become a class action suit, involving any other person near him?
Easy enough to calculate using the inverse square law,
to determine how many people were in the "Danger Zone" during the concert.[/QUOTE]

There are a lot of physical differences from one person to the next. I would suspect this has to do with our hearing parts as well as age of each individual.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,881 Posts
I understand it was a case of acute acoustic trauma...in UK :
I am surprised the prevention aspect of the issue was not already addressed.
Anyway, it is why nobody should never be exposed to 130 db noise.

If you have to yell to be heard by an immediate bystander, the "noise" is too loud !
If you experience tinnitus after practice or show, there could be a problem...

"La Guilde des musiciens & musiciennes" (Quebec) studied the problem many years ago.

Musicians suffering hearing loss should be covered as any other worker against noise induced hearing loss.
I'm covered by workers comp should I seek compensation. I worked 5 years of daily 120-130 db roarimg and screaming equipment. My hearing was noticibly damaged in the first few years.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top