Noise at Work: New Guide Published Regarding Controlling Noise Exposure
The British Safety Council has published a new guide ‘Noise at Work’ – which outlines employers’ duties regarding controlling risks to employees’ hearing. Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noise – whether at work or elsewhere – can have an overwhelmingly detrimental effect on people’s lives. Although some people experience hearing loss as a result of an extreme explosive noise, most commonly hearing loss is usually a gradual process, brought about by a long-term exposure to prolonged lower level noise.
Hearing loss can be disabling and is likely to cause feelings of social isolation and anxiety. Hearing loss through workplace noise is preventable – providing that employers take appropriate steps to reduce noise levels and to control exposure to noise. This can be achieved through risk assessments and by providing quieter tools and machinery, as well as issuing appropriate hearing protection to employees. The National Labour Force Survey1 found that an estimated 23,000 people reported suffering new and long-standing work-related hearing problems during 2015 to 2018.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to eliminate or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Risks include noise-induced hearing damage, but also other often neglected safety risks, such as any noise that affects employees’ ability to communicate, hear instructions and warnings or become aware of hazards.
This new guide is available to buy from the British Safety Council website, and contains useful guidance to eradicate or control the risks to health and safety brought about by noise. Further guidance can also be found at hse.gov.uk/noise.
Undertaking noise assessments ensures legal compliance and protects employees and other personnel from noise-related health issues. It is important for property managers to understand where there are areas of high noise level activity on their sites, and to ensure that risk assessments are completed to address and control risks associated with high noise levels, such as providing suitable PPE to protect workers who are accessing those areas.
The S2 Partnership’s highly-qualified and experienced consultants attend site to identify noise levels using specialist monitoring equipment. A report is provided, detailing areas of excessive noise and specifying what actions need to be taken to reduce noise levels and ensure health, safety and legal compliance. Please contact us for more information