A member of staff has complained about the levels of noise in the workplace. However, readings have determined that the action values contained within the Control of Noise at Work Regulations are not being exceeded. Do we still have a legal obligation to reduce the level of noise?

Q

A member of staff has complained about the levels of noise in the workplace. However, readings have determined that the action values contained within the Control of Noise at Work Regulations are not being exceeded. Do we still have a legal obligation to reduce the level of noise?

A

Although the levels of noise are not exceeding the current action or limit values, it should be remembered that under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, the employer must ensure that “risk from the exposure of his employees to noise is either eliminated at source or, where this is not reasonably practicable, reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable”.

Guidance in the Approved Code of Practice to the Regulations states that “this general duty applies whenever there is a risk from noise and irrespective of whether any exposure action values are exceeded” (these being the levels of exposure to noise at which the employer is required to take certain actions).

E

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