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The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 deal with the responsibilities of employers to protect their workforce from the dangerous aspects of working in a noisy environment. In the past factories, foundries and heavy industry such as mining were responsible for the noisiest working environments, but these days places such as call centres and offices can be just as likely to cause issues with people’s aural health.

Is there a noise problem at your work?

A noise problem is created when an employee is subjected to intrusive or loud noises during the course of their working day. This could include having to raise their voice to be heard by colleagues, using power tools or machinery, or working in a noisy industry; such as construction, demolition, engineering etc There are three action levels into which hearing safety is categorised;

1 The Lower Exposure Action Value: any working environment where the daily or weekly average noise exposure level is 80 decibels or above; at this level employers must provide information and training and make hearing protection available

2 The Upper Exposure Action Value; where the noise averages 85 decibels. At this level employers are required to take reasonable measures to reduce noise exposure and to provide hearing protection.

3 The highest action value is at 87 decibels above which no worker can be exposed while taking into account the protection provided.

What should employers do?

Employers have a responsibility to protect all workers from noise. They are required to provide hearing protection if they are asked for it, and if their noise levels are between the upper and lower exposure action levels. They should have a noise assessment carried out at the premises to identify any particularly dangerous areas, and should monitor and if necessary amend procedures to avoid any workers being exposed to dangerous noise levels.

What if you have suffered from noise at work?

If your hearing has been affected by loud or continuous noise during your employment, you should contact one of our solicitors today. If it can be proved that your employer failed in their duty to provide you with suitable protection, or failed to alter procedure or deliver suitable training regarding the noise exposure at your work, you might be entitled to claim for compensation. We have years of experience in these cases and will swiftly be able to talk you through the process and see how much you can claim.