In the UK, 26th – 30th April 2010 has been designated Noise Action Week 2010. It has been set to coincide with the 15th International Noise Action Day on the 28th April 2010.

There is no doubt that exposure to high noise levels leads to hearing loss. It affects the young as much as the old. Exposure to noise occurs throughout the day and the night. At home individuals have some control over the noise levels to which they are exposed. Elsewhere, and particularly at work they have little control. Here, they are exposed to the noise levels generated throughout their workplace and by their work activities.

The International Noise Action Day is sponsored by the US based Centre for Hearing and Communication which provides hearing health services to people of all ages who have a hearing loss. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for these people. The Action Day is held in over 40 countries. Its aim is to promote awareness of the dangers of long-term exposure to noise on human health and the environment. Professional organisations and community groups who are signed up to the day will provide free basic hearing tests, give out information and hearing protection, and help to promote the importance of reducing noise in our lives.

In the UK, Noise Action Week will be used by the authorities to focus public and media attention on the difficulties excessive noise can cause for us all – at home, at work, at study and at leisure. Should they pay a visit to your workplace between the 26th-30th April 2010, expect the Health and Safety enforcing authorities to raise it with you. If asked could you say whether the noise levels in your premises exceed either the Workplace Action Level or the Workplace Exposure Limit? If noise levels are above the limits what control measures are in place, what plans do you have to reduce them to an acceptable level? If you need it, you will find advice and guidance in your Peninsula Guidance Note – Noise at Work.

Noise affects everyone’s quality of life at some time. The action week will give everyone involved in managing noise problems the opportunity to consider the issues and consider solutions. Noise problems are frequently solved by communication between employers and their workforce, by using noise control services, by neighbourly communication, and by simple, practical solutions. Peninsula clients can find general guidance in their health and safety manual and guidance notes.

If you are in any doubt as to your compliance, need further information or specific help call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2785 and one of Peninsula’s specialists will be able to assist.