Noise at Work
According to the HSE there were a 23,000 estimated number of workers with work-related hearing loss covering the periods of 2015/16 to 2017/18.
Noise at Work Regulations 2005
The aim of the Noise Regulations is to ensure that workers hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work, which could cause them to lose their hearing and/or suffer from a permanent condition such as tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears).
- Hearing protection and hearing protection zones must be provided by an employer where levels are 85 decibels or more (daily or weekly).
- Employers must assess the risk to workers health and provide information and training where the level is 80 decibels and above.
- There is also an exposure limit value of 87 decibels, taking account of any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection, above which workers must not be exposed.
Hearing Health Surveillance
The Noise at Work Regulations 2005 requires employers to carry out health surveillance in the form of hearing tests for workers who are regularly exposed to noise levels above 85 decibels, even if hearing protection is worn.
Arrangements can be made for a trained OH Practitioner to attend the workplace and each employee will have an assessment which will include a review of a completed questionnaire, a physical examination of the ears and a hearing test using calibrated audiology testing equipment, advice is also provided to the employee about the correct use of hearing protection. A typical appointment will take 20 minutes.
In line with HSE guidance, recalls are recommended based on the results of a hearing test and ongoing health surveillance is typically as follows:
Year 1 – Baseline hearing test
Year 2 – Repeat hearing test, if results are consistent over year 1 and 2 then the next hearing test will not be required until another 3 years and then 3 years thereafter unless there is any change to an employee’s hearing or job role and the associated noise levels. An employee may be referred to their GP for further investigation if their results are abnormal.
If you would like further advice about hearing tests please contact us by calling 01449 766913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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