The British Beer and Pub Association has rejected calls for bar staff to wear earplugs to protect them from loud music.
The call comes from the Royal National Institute for the Deaf which found over half of employers have no plans to make hearing protection available - despite new laws coming in next year.
Under EU directives, firms have to ensure staff are protected where noise exceeds 85 decibels.
It just would not work. We are looking at other solutions of protecting our staff.Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub Association.
It says most clubs and some pubs and bars will exceed this, but the music and entertainment industry has been given an exemption until next April.
The RNID poll found that 68% of employers were unaware they had to comply with the law and 55% had no plans to make hearing protection available.
Emma Harrison, head of campaigns at the RNID, said: "Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss and if properly implemented these regulations will save the hearing of literally hundreds of thousands of people in the music and entertainment industries.
"If they are ignored or implemented half-heartedly employers could face a wave of compensation claims for staff."
However, Mark Hastings, of the British Beer and Pub Association, told the BBC it was not logical to ask staff to wear earplugs.
"It just would not work. We are looking at other solutions of protecting our staff.
"It is important we adopt a common-sense solution, that is why we have been given an exemption."
He suggested providing quiet areas where staff could take breaks could be a way round this.