Business & Marketing

A Guide to Controlling Noise in the Workplace

If you are the person responsible for managing a group of employees in the workplace you’ll be aware that there are many different aspects of health and safety and other issues to be in control of at all times. One area of the workplace that is often overlooked is that of the control of noise levels. Especially in certain industries where there is a need for protective clothing and equipment to provide protection against high noise levels, and where there could be noise pollution that spills out into the wider world and the general public, it is important to be in control of noise. With noise surveys in the workplace you can ensure that you are compliant with strict health and safety laws relating to industrial noise, noise pollution, and safe noise levels in the workplace, no matter the industry you are working in.

Noise at work if left unchecked can be responsible for long-term hearing damage for those regularly within ear shot. This hearing damage can cause disability and permanent damage in the worst cases. It could be the case that hearing loss develops gradually over time because of long-term exposure to the noise in question, although in some industries it could be the case that there is a sudden, extremely loud noise that causes damage to an individual’s hearing.

Other problems related to noise pollution and loud noises in the workplace include tinnitus, which is a very distressing condition where a person hears permanent levels of ringing, buzzing, whistling, or humming in their ears. This can lead to an inability to focus properly in the workplace, and cause disruption to sleep patterns.

In terms of safety issues, controlling noise levels in the workplace is important as it can lead to an interference with communications. If there is no clear communication in the workplace, especially where there is the use of equipment and machinery, it can be harder to hear which puts everyone in danger. People can become less aware of their surroundings, which also leads to an increase in safety risks. Poor communication and a lack of awareness of surroundings increases the risk of people suffering injury or even death in the workplace.

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 requires employers to completely eliminate, or at least reduce the risks of noise at work causing health and safety issues. This can include taking action to reduce noise levels, provide personal hearing protection where applicable, maintain noise risks are controlled with equipment, provide information, instruction and clear training and conduct regular surveys of noise pollution in the workplace. These regulations apply to workplaces where there are activities that expose people to risks of health and safety from noise.

Having a plan in place to deal with a noise problem in the workplace is important, especially if you are working within an industry where noise is created consistently. Work with a company that can provide you with a noise survey to ensure that you have the full evidence in place to make plans and tweak your approach in the workplace to keep employees safe at all times from the risks of exposure to noise.

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