Workplace noise surveys

It's estimated that there are 21,000 workers with work-related hearing problems in the UK, suffering from deafness, ringing in the ears or other ear conditions caused by excessive noise at work.


Keep employees safe at work

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into effect for all industry sectors in Great Britain on April 6 2006. The aim of these is to ensure the protection of your people’s hearing is protected from excessive noise at work.

Excessive noise exposure can lead to hearing loss and/or conditions such as tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears). The level at which employers must provide mandatory hearing protection and hearing protection zones is 85 decibels; and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers' health and provide them with information and training is 80 decibels (advisory hearing protection).

This is a given, but as a result of COVID-19 many companies are now working differently. Some have had to change their shift patterns and their employees are now working longer hours and some less. As a result, their exposure to workplace noise may have also changed - some employees might be experiencing an increase in noise exposure, and again some less. Either way, the validity of your current noise assessment is in doubt. For example, fewer workers on site might mean it’s much quieter than normal and therefore, areas previously designated a hearing protection zones might not be necessary – so it’s worth updating your workplace noise survey to ensure you are up to date with your legislative requirement and your employees are protected.

RPS can help with a workplace noise survey to determine areas needing to be designated as Mandatory hearing or Advisory hearing protection zones. We are also experienced at providing environmental noise surveys.

Some additional, helpful tips

But obviously the workplace isn’t the only pace we experience noise. Here are some tips on what we can do outside of work to help protect our hearing.

  • Keep your television, radio or music volume down
  • Use headphones that block out more outside noise rather than turning up the volume
  • Even if your not told to, wearing ear protection if you work in a noisy environment is beneficial
  • If you're a musician there are special vented earplugs available that allow some noise in
  • And finally, never insert objects into you or your children's ears – this includes fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissue – if you are concerned about wax build up the NHS recommends using 2-3 drops of olive oil in your ear twice a day for a few days to help clear any build up.

If at any point you are unsure or at all concerned about the noise produced in your work environment, please get in touch with one of our team to discuss how we can help.

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Ben Massey

Business Development - Occupational Health & Hygiene T: +44 (0) 1235 437 100 Email
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Milton Keynes | UK

Matt Bates

Technical Director - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 (0) 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

Tracey Bailey

Business Development Manager - Occupational Hygiene T: +44 1235 437 100 Email
Milton Keynes | UK

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