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Regulations On Noise In The Workplace

Control of Noise at Work Legislation

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), placed a greater emphasis on the duty of the employer to reduce the risks to their employees’ health by protecting their eardrums. It came into effect in all industries apart from music and entertainment, where it was later introduced in April 2008. 

Therefore, it is required by law that employers take certain precautions to protect their staff from harm in the workplace. A 2019 review of available data by The British Tinnitus Association (BTA) found that the number of people living in the UK with persistent tinnitus is between 1 in 10 (10% of the population) to 1 in 8 (13.2%). There has been a serious reduction in the number of work-related claims for deafness in Great Britain. In 2009 there were just over 200 people who made a work-related claim for deafness but in 2018 there were 55 people who made such a claim. However, there is always still more work to be done, and protecting hearing in the workplace must still be a priority. 

Amount of Compensation for Hearing Loss

If you have experienced industrial deafness (hearing loss due to an individual’s workplace environment) then you could be eligible for compensation. Compensation is primarily based upon the severity of your hearing loss. For example, if you have some hearing loss and occasional tinnitus you could be owed between £4,800 – £8,000. If you have more serious hearing loss with severe tinnitus, this could grant between £19,000 – £30,000 in compensation.

For more information about the specific amounts of compensation you could be owed based upon the amount of hearing loss you have suffered, take a look at our industrial deafness compensation page. 

Your personal injury compensation will also take into account additional costs associated with your hearing loss. For example, if you have had to pay for treatment or have suffered financial loss due to being unable to return to work then compensation could cover this. For the best and most accurate estimation of compensation speak to us.

Control of Noise at Work Action Levels

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 gives several ‘action levels’ which mean that if noise within the workplace reaches that level, an employer must respond with a specific action. 

  1. The first action level is that of a daily average workplace noise of 80 decibels (dB). If noise reaches this level, employers must educate their workers as to the effect that this level of noise might have on them, as well as stating what can be done to protect their hearing. Employers must also provide and maintain hearing protection for all employees affected by the noise level, such as earplugs. However, as the onus should be on the business rather than the employee to protect hearing, the 2005 regulations state that employers must try to minimise the level of noise in the environment before bringing in other personal, protective measures like earplugs. This can be achieved through various methods such as fitting noise-absorbing panels to reduce sound reflection or modifying noisy equipment to make it quieter. 
  2. The second action level is that of an average workplace noise of 85 dB to the peak which is 137 dB. Employers must enforce the use of hearing protection at all times if workplace noise exceeds 137 dB. Hearing protection zones, where workers have to wear ear protection, must also be clearly marked for workplaces with noise levels between 85 dB – 137 dB. 

For a more in-depth look at The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, view the regulations.


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Recommendations from the Legislation

The Control of Noise Regulations 2005 recommends that a ‘competent person’ should carry out noise measurements to ensure safety. There are many different companies that can provide a professional assessment service to monitor noise levels at businesses across the UK. It is important that accurate measurement is taken so that the correct precautions can be employed to avoid workers suffering from industrial deafness or tinnitus. 

It is not always straightforward to measure the level of noise in a workplace, although the general rule is that two workers should be able to have a conversation at a distance of two meters without having to raise their voices. If it is not possible to converse at this distance, then it is likely that the workplace noise could be damaging to people’s ears. 

If you believe that you have suffered noise-related hearing problems due to workplace noise, then you may be entitled to industrial deafness compensation. Contact First Personal Injury to assess your claim and estimate how much compensation you could be owed. 

Making Personal Injury Claims

If you have been suffered industrial deafness or tinnitus due to your work environment, you may be entitled to compensation. First Personal Injury solicitors are available to assist you and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. 

First Personal Injury works with both families and individuals across England and Wales, leading them on their legal journey and helping them claim compensation after an accident or injury.

 To learn more or to start your claim, get in touch with our expert team on 0800 808 9740 or contact us online. 

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