NZ Defence Force admits it has an issue with hearing loss

Source: 1News

The New Zealand Defence Force admits it has an issue with hearing loss, especially in the army where exposure to high intensity weapon fire is a hazard of the job.

A major review has delivered a series of recommendations to deal with the increasing problem.

Training has been a particular area of concern in the military.

"There are a number of military personnel exposed to excessive noise," Lieutenant Colonel Phil Wright told 1 NEWS.

Six per cent of soldiers most recently tested were found to have significant hearing loss, but the NZDF says age could be as big a contributor to that as noise exposure.

The review also found hearing protection issued to personnel does meet current regulations.

Previously personnel had hearing tests every five years, now the recommendation is tests be conducted annually for at risk personnel in keeping with WorkSafe guidelines.