Health & Safety

The Noise Regulations 2005 require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too.

Health and Safety

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

The Regulations require you as an employer to:

  • Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work;
  • Take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
  • Provide your employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods;
  • Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
  • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training;
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

 

Do you have a noise problem at work?

This will depend on how loud the noise is and how long people are exposed to it. As a simple guide you will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following apply:

  • Is the noise intrusive – like a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – for most of the working day?
  • Do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day?
  • Do your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
  • Do you work in a noisy industry, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries?
  • Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detonators, or guns?

Noise can also be a safety hazard at work, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear.

 

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