Noise at work

Noise at work Nov 2010

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Noise is probably the most widespread and underestimated of industrial hazards in the workplace and is a real risk to millions of people every day when they are at work.

As an employer you have a moral responsibility to ensure that your team are kept safe in their workplace. This may sound obvious, and most of us would see this as  standard. But it is worth thinking about the legal challenges surrounding noise at work and the compliance legislation which looks to protect the employee. As an employer, if your responsibilities are not taken seriously, you too may also be open to risk.  A different, but equally prominent risk – a legal one.

What if you don’t keep up with the ever changeable risk compliance legislation? New legislation now insists that everyone has duties and responsibilities regarding health and safety, from the worker to each contractor, from the architect up to the top boss.  The implications for not following these guidelines should not be ignored nor disregarded. Failure to comply with the regulations could lead to legal action, meaning not just liability for compensation but also prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

One of the biggest risks we are exposed to in the workplace is noise, ranging from a construction worker surrounded by loud equipment, to a shop assistant in a store with background music.  What we need to address is what makes noise in a workplace a danger and what measures are to be taken to reduce the risk of exposure, in turn preventing long term damage to the employees.


In Britain, more than one million employees are exposed to worrying levels of noise – and the louder the noise, the more damage it can cause.

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Noise at Work

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HSI Final article

When thinking of noise do you think of your workplace?  If you’re lucky then hopefully not, but there are people who come across noise, excessive noise, every day at work.  A worrying statistic shows that over 1 million  employees in Great Britain are exposed to levels of noise that puts their hearing at risk. The louder the noise, the more damage it can cause, much of it could be long-term damage to our senses. Hearing and touch are the senses most affected.  And it’s not just noise which leads to damage; vibration too. There is advice which can prevent damage from noise and it is important to consider this as a real workplace risk.

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