Noise Exposure

Control of noise exposure in the workplace

Hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work continues to be a significant occupational disease. Recent research estimates that 17,000 people in the UK suffer deafness, tinnitus or other ear conditions as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work*. 

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 are designed to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise whilst at work. The Regulations set out the level at which employers must provide hearing protection and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers' health including providing them with information and training.

There is an exposure limit value of 87 decibels, taking account of any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection, above which workers must not be exposed.

If the risks are high, then you will need to manage them using a prioritised noise-control action plan. OCS can help you manage noise exposure through surveying your premises to determine where there may be a risk from noise, estimate employees’ exposure to the noise, assist you in reviewing the effectiveness of your existing control measures and provide professional advice on what actions need to be taken to comply with current legislation. 

For more information on the effects of high noise exposure see HSE: Noise at Work.
*Based on data from the 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2013/14 Labour Force Survey (LFS)

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