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Guide to Ear Protection

Imagine living in a world with no sound, or a constant ringing in your ears. Hearing damage is no joke, and it isn’t reversible. Don’t ignore the signs! Wherever you see the ear protection symbol you must wear it.

But what obligations do employers have beyond putting a sign up? Noise regulations require organisations to provide hearing protection where noise is 85dB+, ensuring this equipment is used fully and properly.

In addition, requests for hearing protection must be met where exposure is between 80 and 85dB. Hearing protection zones should be identified with appropriate signage, with spot checks and audits conducted to ensure appropriate protection is being used.

 Aside from identifying areas of high noise and providing suitable ear protection to those people at risk, there are other ways to help keep ears happy, including:

  • Invest in quieter equipment
  • Install barriers to reduce sound waves on their path 
  • Limit people's exposure time
  • Review the layout of the workplace to create quieter workstations

For more advice and information about noise at work, read the HSE pocket guide: http://ow.ly/ZjaK308Iga0