Preventing exposure to noise at work


Exposure to excessive noise at work is one of the most common causes of noise induced hearing loss. In order to try and prevent this, the noise at work regulations were brought into force in 1989 (Noise at Work Regulations 1989) and were subsequently reinforced by the 2005 Regulations to bring legislation up to date with a view to protecting employees from exposure to noise at work.

Here, in brief, are the regulations imposed on employers to protect their workforce against exposure to excessive noise.

Noise at Work Regulations 1989

  • Employers must provide, at the request of the employee, adequate hearing protection when daily noise exposure is likely to be between 85 – 90 decibels.
  • Employers must assess the risk of worker’s health and provide them with information and training on the use of hearing protection when noise levels meet 85 decibels.

Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

  • Employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones in areas where noise levels reach 85 decibels.
  • Employers must assess the risk to workers’ health and provide them with information and training on the use of hearing protection when noise levels meet 80 decibels.
  • Employers must ensure that the use of hearing protection is enforced when workers are exposed to noise levels above 85 decibels.

Comparisons between the regulations

The 2005 regulations require employers to take action to protect workers who are likely experience levels of noise five decibels lower than in the 1989 Regulations. The new regulations now require health surveillance (hearing checks) for workers who are regularly exposed to noise levels above 85 decibels. Therefore, there is now greater protection for employees who work in noisy environments, safeguarding them from the risks of developing noise induced hearing loss with the majority of workforces not only having to provide hearing protection but also requiring the enforcement of the protection.

Prior to implementation these regulations, minimal protection was provided for employees and in most cases no hearing protection was provided at all leading to many industrial workers now developing noise induced hearing loss alongside the onset of age related hearing loss.

If you have worked in a noisy environment after 1963 (prior to this point exposure to noise is classed as non-negligent exposure) and have not been provided with hearing protection for all or part of your employment with a company or multiple companies, you may be entitled to make a claim for noise induced hearing loss compensation.

You must ensure that you act quickly when you first notice yourself that you are suffering with hearing problems or otherwise your claim may be classed as being out of time (outside of the limitation period). This is because a person only has three years from when they first notice hearing problems and were aware or ought to have been aware that there problems were caused by exposure to noise at work in which to make a claim.

What’s My Deafness Claim Worth has extensive experience in dealing with people suffering with hearing loss and tinnitus. We have a specialist team of industrail deafness solicitors, as well as a fully trained audiologist, who will fight for the compensation that you deserve. Our team understands that it can be a very difficult and daunting time for you and they will do their best to offer an unparalleled support network and specialist legal expertise. If you have suffered a personal injury, which was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.If you are suffering from loss of hearing, buzzing or ringing in your ears, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.

If you have been affected by hearing loss or exposure to noisy working environments you should not hesitate to contact us or to try our ‘Calculate my Claim’ feature on the right hand side of this page to see what your claim may be worth. We understand that the symptoms that you are suffering from can have serious consequences on your day to day life. When fighting for your compensation we take into account any time you have had to take off work, any treatment you have had to pay for including the cost of hearing aids and any other losses that you may have incurred.

Claims are dealt with on a no win, no fee basis so if we are unsuccessful in your claim you do not pay anything. If your claim is successful you will keep at least 75% of the compensation that is awarded.

Call 0800 849 8700 to speak to a member of our specialist team of Industrial Disease lawyers who will assist you further with this matter.

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