Viola player Chris Goldscheider  who suffered a life-changing hearing injury at a Royal Opera House rehearsal  has won a landmark High Court judgement against his employer in a case which will have major implications for the entertainment industry and the health and safety of musicians.

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

On 1 September 2012, Mr Goldscheider was seated directly in front of the brass section of the orchestra for a rehearsal of Wagner's opera Die Walkure in orchestra pit at the Royal Opera House.

During that rehearsal, the noise levels exceeded 130 decibels, roughly equivalent to that of a jet engine. His hearing was irreversibly damaged.

Mr Goldscheider claimed damages for acoustic shock, which left him experiencing symptoms including tinnitus, hyperacusis - an increased sensitivity to sound - and dizziness. He now has to wear ear defenders to perform basis household jobs such as working in the kitchen and has been unable to see his son - also a musician - play.

Mrs Justice Davies in her ruling stated: "Musicians are entitled to the protection of the law, as is any other worker."

David Stockdale, Chief Executive of the British Tinnitus Association commented: "The British Tinnitus Association welcomes the High Court Judgement in the Goldschreiber vs The Royal Opera House case. We have been working with musicians and those attending concerts since our inception. Throughout our history we have heard many cases of both musicians and audience members acquiring tinnitus after attending dangerously loud events. It is imperative musicians receive the same protection under law as other professions and hope this judgement goes someway to securing that."

More information about hearing protection, especially for musicians and music lovers, can be found at the BTA run Plug'em site