The Noise Regulations require you to:
- provide hearing protectors to workers and make sure they use them fully and properly when their noise exposure exceeds the upper exposure action values (at or above 85dB(A));
- provide hearing protectors if workers ask for them, and their noise exposure is between the lower and upper exposure action values (between 80dB and 85dB(A));
- identify hearing protection zones – areas of the workplace where access is restricted, and where wearing hearing protection is compulsory.
To make sure protectors are worn fully (all of the time they are needed) and properly (fitted or inserted correctly) will require you to have systems of supervision and training. Also consider the use of spot checks and audits.
Providing health surveillance
Health surveillance is required for any employees who are likely to be frequently exposed above the upper exposure action values, or are at risk for any reason, eg they already suffer from hearing loss or are particularly sensitive to damage.
Occupational Health can provide advice and information to managers and staff on health matters including health surveillance. Health surveillance needs should have been identified during the risk assessment process.
Approved signage and PPE suppliers can be found via the Procurement webpages