Common noise hazards - Noise and hearing loss - Healthy Working Lives

Noise and hearing loss

How to identify if noise is a problem and what you can do to minimise this

​Workplace exposure to loud noise can affect hearing. The louder the noise, the more damage it can cause and in some cases it can lead to permanent hearing loss.

Use the links below to find information on how to meet your responsibilities by conducting a noise assessment and taking steps to prevent or control the risks identified.

  1. Common noise hazards
  2. Precautions to reduce noise

1. Common noise hazards

You, your business and staff may be at risk if workers have to raise their voices to talk to a person 2 metres away. There is also a risk if workers have to

  • use powered or pneumatic tools
  • use impact tools, for example hammers, drop forges or riveters
  • use powered cartridge-operated tools and guns or punching tools
  • are in an area where there is interfering noise for most of the day, for example a vacuum cleaner, a busy street or a crowded bar.

Noise generating activities in high risk sectors include

  • agriculture
  • waste recycling
  • wood and plastic processing
  • heavy construction, demolition or road repair
  • foundry work or metal products manufacture or repair.

Carry out a risk assessment

Your workplace risk assessment​ should identify if exposure to excessive noise is putting your workers at risk. You may need to conduct a more detailed noise assessment for those activities.

Use our noise risk assessment form

​​Find out more

You can share the video below with your employees to help raise awareness and encourage discussion on the subject.

​​