Imperial Health at Work
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Q&A

Do you have workers exposed to high levels of noise?

Noise exposure / hearing surveillance

Could your employees be at risk from noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)? Often underestimated and misunderstood, NIHL remains one of the most widespread health risks and problems in the workplace. Given that its effects can be severely debilitating and irreversible, the revised Noise at Work Regulations 2005 have now placed more stringent requirements on employers. The new regulations state that organisations need to establish employees’ noise exposure and measure noise levels in general areas using a noise survey. If specific, daily averaged, maximum noise exposures are reached, employers have to take action by law. However measuring noise in decibels can be confusing, as the action levels and exposure limits are now 68% lower than in the previous regulations from 1989 – which means that more employers now need to comply with these rules.