The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006 (except for the music and entertainment sectors where they come into force on 6 April 2008)..
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 to suffer from tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears).
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 replace the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 (except for the music and entertainment sectors where the 1989 Regulations will continue to apply until 6 April 2008). The level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is now 85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure) and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers’ health and provide them with information and training is now 80 decibels. 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.