Exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems but can be difficult to detect as the effects only become apparent with time and there is a natural degeneration due to age. In many workplaces high levels of noise expose employees and others to the risk of work related hearing loss. Work-related noise-induced hearing loss is entirely preventable and therefore regulations apply to all workplaces, including places of entertainment, requiring the person in control to reduce or control exposure to noise to safe levels. In many cases the action required to reduce exposure is relatively simple and inexpensive.
Noise can also create stress and be a safety hazard, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear.
- assess the risks to their employees from noise at work.
- take action to eliminate or reduce the noise that produces those risk.
- if they cannot reduce the noise to a safe level provide hearing protection.
- make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded.
- provide employees with information, instruction and training.
- carry out health surveillance where there is a risk of hearing loss.