Over the last few decades, governments around the world have introduced various pieces of legislation in order to improve health and safety in the workplace and reduce the chances of an accident at work. Such legislation has been targeted at a number of areas including working time.
What is the noise at Work Act?
The Noise at Work Act (1989) was introduced in order to help regulate the exposure of employees to hazardous noises in the workplace. It was eventually supplemented by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
The Noise at Work Act adhered to European standards of workplace noise that were defined in the 1980’s. It did not however require employers to take a proactive role when it came to medical checks for their employees. The 2005 Noise Regulations replace the 1989 Noise Regulations and introduce new requirements for action to be taken by employers. Employees that are regularly exposed to noise levels above 85 dB are required to have frequent hearing checks in order to assess hearing loss.
Does the act include members of the public?
The act does not apply to members of the public exposed to noise from their non-work activities, or when they make an informed choice to go to noisy places such as a live concert.
Does your work place have policies in place when it comes to reducing harmful noises?
A study conducted by the Royal National Institute for Deaf people (RNID) recently conducted a survey. Many employers were unaware that legislation was in place to tackle excessive noises in the workplace. In fact, the industry which the RNID found to be most lacking in noise reduction policies, was the call centre industry.
Always remember, it is your right to ask your employer if there are policies in place in order to combat excessive noise in the workplace. If you feel that your hearing has in some way been compromised or impaired by exposure to loud noises at your work, seek medical advice from your doctor. You could be entitled to make a claim for compensation if it wasn’t your fault and it happened within the last 3 years. Accident Advice Helpline has years of experience in all areas of personal injury compensation including industrial deafness claims.
Our lines are free to phone on 0800 689 0500 and are open 24/7, where a friendly, professional advisor is waiting to take your call.
Date Published: February 27, 2015
Author: Accident Advice