The Legal Stuff

In a Nutshell

nutshellIf recorded noise exposure range is between 80dB – 85dB, appropriate ear protection must be made readily available and offered to all personnel before entering controlled noise zone.
Should noise levels exceed 85dB, ear protection MUST be worn at all times within controlled noise exposure zone.

Appropriate signage must be clearly visible and displayed to all areas exceeding 80dB.
Suitable ear protection must be easily accessible before entering controlled noise exposure zones.

The Law

Law BooksThe Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the ‘Noise Regulations’) requires the employer to prevent, eliminate or reduce risks to health and safety from noise at work.

Depending on the level of risk, you should:

  • Take action to reduce the noise exposure and also provide your employees with personal hearing protection.

Other duties under the Noise Regulations include:

  • Make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded.
  • Maintain and ensure the use of equipment you provide to control noise risks.
  • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training.
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

The Noise Regulations apply where work activities expose people (employees, contractors and visitors affected by your work activities) to risks to their health and safety from noise exposure.

Employers must make every effort to reduce noise levels at source by maintaining, modifying or replacing equipment.

If the daily noise level reaches 85dB, the law demands appropriate ear protection must be provided and worn. It is the employers responsibility to ensure legislation is adhered to. The employer must maintain ear protection in good hygienic condition and clearly mark and define ear protection zones.