How To Reduce Noise at Work

Do NOT adjust the volume after starting to listen to the clip. The hearing loss simulations all include the effects of noise exposure and ageing. At the end of each simulation the hearing undamaged by noise can be heard.

Control of Noise at Work

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006 (except for the music and entertainment sectors, where they came into force on 6 April 2008).

The aim of the Noise Regulations is to ensure that workers' hearing is protected from excessive noise at their workplace, which could cause them to lose their hearing and/or to suffer from tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears)

There is an exposure limit value of 87 decibels, taking into account any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection, above which workers must not be exposed.

Sound Service can offer a wide range of sound insulating products for your employer and help them comply with these new regulations.

ARe you effected by noise at work?

As a simple guide your boss will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following apply to you:

Is the noise intrusive - like a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant - for most of the working day?

Do you have to raise your voice to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 metres apart for at least part of the day?

Do you use noisy power tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?

Do you work in a noisy industry, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping, paper or board making, canning or bottling, foundries?

Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators, or guns?

Do you have muffled hearing at the end of the day, even if it is better by the next morning?

If the answer is yes to some or all of these questions then your Boss should really be speaking to us.

To hear the levels of noise for yourself click HERE


Symptoms and early signs of hearing loss

Conversation becomes difficult or impossible

Your family complains about the television being too loud

You have trouble using the telephone

You find it difficult to catch sounds like 't', 'd' and 's', so you confuse similar words

Permanent tinnitus (ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in the ears) can also be caused

Generally hearing loss is gradual. By the time you notice it, it is probably too late. We want to prevent hearing loss before it happens. You can also suffer instant damage from very loud or explosive noises.

How do I protect myself?

Co-operate. Help your employer to do what is needed to protect your hearing. Make sure you use properly any noise control devices (eg Our noise enclosures), and follow any working methods that are put in place. Also attend hearing checks. This means you need to take some responsibility for your hearing.

Wear any hearing protection you are given. Wear it properly (you should be trained how to do this), and make sure you wear it all the time when you are doing noisy work, and when you are in hearing protection areas. Taking it off even for a short while means that your hearing could still be damaged. Remember that there is no cure for deafness.

Look after your hearing protection. Your employer should tell you how to look after it and where you can get it from. Make sure you understand what you need to do.

Report any problems with your hearing protection or noise control devices straight away. Let your employer or safety representative know. If you have any ear trouble, let your employer know.

Written by Stephen Young

© Sound Service (Oxford) Ltd. 2009

For more information contact our specialist technical team on 0845 363 7131

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