Noise at Work
If your employees are regularly exposed to high levels of noise, it’s your duty to provide hearing checks. Here’s everything employers need to know about noise in the workplace…
Why should employers care about workplace noise?
Excessive noise — defined by the Health and Safety Executive as anything above 85 decibels — can cause hearing loss, tinnitus and other health problems such as stress, high blood pressure and sleep disturbance.
Clearly, that’s going to have a detrimental impact on your employees’ quality of life and (in case it needed to be said) performance at work. But it also leaves your business open to litigation, bad PR and loss of revenue. So it’s definitely something to be taken seriously.
Which groups of workers are most at risk from noise?
Each day, many workers are exposed to noise levels that can lead to permanent and incurable hearing damage. The following job roles are just a handful of those most at risk:
– Forklift Drivers
– Machine Operators
– Paint Sprayers
– Warehouse workers
What measures do employers need to take?
As an employer, it’s your legal obligation to control risks to workers’ health and safety from noise.
That means managing and controlling noise generated by machinery as much as possible, either by installing noise control solutions, issuing staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) such as ear defenders, or — ideally — a combination of those measures.
If any of your staff work with or close to loud machinery, you will need to organise regular audiometry tests for them — even if they use PPE. Audiometry is a technique that can detect noise-induced hearing loss early.
You’ll also need to conduct regular noise surveys in your workplace, so risks can be highlighted and action can be taken to mitigate them.
Hodgson Acoustics offers specialist noise control solutions for a number of applications, including manufacturing, industrial equipment, power generation and power distribution. Contact us to find out more.