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.
Your organisation should have a system of staff consultation. Staff should be able to raise concerns about noise levels and other health and safety issues in the workplace.
You may need more than one control measure if noise comes from a variety of sources in the workplace. You should try to reduce noise levels to the lowest practicable level.
You should take specific action if noise exposure is at or above the Lower exposure action values of
Additional controls will be needed if your staff are exposed at the upper exposure action values of
Your staff should not be exposed to levels at or above the exposure limit values of
You can find more information about legal noise limits on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) site.
Visit the HSE site for more guidance on legal noise limits
Reduced noise levels will directly reduce the risk of hearing loss for your employees. You should consider the use of alternative equipment or safe systems of work including
Hearing protection in noisy environments should normally only be considered as a temporary measure. You should work to reduce noise levels to below exposure action values. Protection should be used as a last resort where a risk remains after steps have been taken to reduce noise levels.
You should also
Hearing protection comes in two main types
Hearing protection often needs to be worn with other protective equipment such as glasses or hard hats. Make sure that these are compatible and one system does not interfere with the other.
Hearing checks must be provided when employees are
It is good practice to carry out hearing checks for new employees working in noisy workplaces. This will allow you to gather base line health and hearing information. This will help identify potential risk of hearing loss throughout the employees working life.
You can find more information on precautions to reduce noise and hearing loss in our publication, Health Risks at Work.
You can also find further guidance on noise at work on the HSE site.
Visit the HSE site for more guidance about noise at work
For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, contact your local health board team