Loud noise in the workplace can cause damage to people’s hearing and can also present risks to safety of all employees. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations were designed to protect employees from dangerous noise levels and the potential dangers that loud noise can create.
Being subjected to loud noise in the workplace can result in permanent and disabling hearing loss; either through gradual exposure to loud noise over a long period of time, but also in the case of sudden, extremely loud noises. Hearing loss is not the only issue, some people may develop Tinnitus; a ringing, buzzing or whistling in the ears that can disturb sleep and lower quality of life.
Noise at work can also interfere with communication between workers, make warnings harder to hear and also reduce people’s awareness of their surroundings; all putting people at risk of injury, or even death.
According to the Health and Safety Executive, The Control of Noise at Work Regulations require employers to eliminate or reduce risks from noise at work. Once the level of risk has been established through a thorough risk assessment, companies should:
- Take action to reduce noise exposure
- Provide employees with personal hearing protection
- Make sure the legal limits on noise are not exceeded
- Maintain and ensure the use of equipment provided to control noise risks
- Provide employees with information, instruction and suitable training
- Carry out health surveillance to monitor employees’ hearing
Control the Risks
Wherever there is noise in a workplace, the employer should look for alternative processes, equipment or methods which could make the work quieter or expose people to less noise, both in terms of its volume and the time they are subjected to it. Any action should be reasonably practicable and proportional to the risk identified: if the exposure is very low then it is likely that the risk is low and so perhaps no action will be required, but if there is an opportunity to lower the risk even more by implementing some simple procedures, then it is worth doing.
What if your hearing has already been damaged?
If your hearing has been damaged through your employment, you could well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in dealing with cases like this, so contact us today and find out how we can help you get the pay out you deserve.