Exposure to high levels of noise at work can lead to permanent, incurable hearing damage for the employee and potentially costly compensation claims for the employer. Damage to, or loss of, hearing can occur gradually over time or can be attributed to sudden, extremely loud noises. However, it is entirely preventable if employers (and employees) take responsbility for reducing exposure to workplace noise.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 specify lower and upper action values for noise exposure, based on an employee's personal daily noise exposure (or if exposure to noise varies markedly from day to day, an employee's weekly noise exposure). In addition, there is a noise exposure limit value above which employees may not be exposed.
As part of the risk assessment process, the employer is required to assess the likely exposure to noise of their employees and compare this to the exposure action and exposure limit values. If necessary, the employers must take action to eliminate or reduce the risks from noise exposure to a level that is 'reasonably practicable'.
Noise assessments must be carried out by a competent person - at Miller Goodall, our team has the knowledge and experience to complete these assessments and if required, to provide advice on practical measures that may be undertaken to control noise within the workplace.