Personal injury lawyers are warning employers that they could face stiff fines and major compensation claims if they fail to protect workers from noise.
It follows the introduction of new regulations on April 6.
Adam Wilson, from the Birmingham office of law firm Russell Jones & Walker, said: "Over the last few years hearing-related injuries have led to many thousands of successful compensation claims.
"The World Health Organisation describes noise induced hearing loss as 'the most prevalent irreversible industrial disease'. In the EU alone, it is estimated that in excess of 13 million people have hearing problems due to noise exposure at work.
"As long as employers follow the new guidelines we should see a reduction in the number of claims made, because workers will suffer less damage as a result of the reduced noise levels.
"The new Control of Noise at Work Regulations significantly reduce the noise levels allowable in the workplace to a maximum of 87 decibels.
"They also impose far higher burdens upon employers to ensure employees are safe in the workplace from the risks associated with working in a noisy environment. For the first time, employers must also assess the risks associated with noise exposure in rest areas too.
"Employers are also going to be responsible for ensuring workers' shift patterns do not expose them to prolonged episodes of loud noises.
"As long as employers adhere to the new rules we should eventually start to see a reduction in permanent and disabling work-related injuries such as damage to hearing and tinnitus."
Russell Jones & Walker employs more than 360 staff across the country including an office in Birmingham.