Hearing Conservation

Hearing Conservation

Noise Hazards

Hearing loss caused by noise hazards at work is preventable but once your hearing has gone it won’t come back. Individuals may also suffer a permanent sensation of ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.

Click here for an audio demonstration of Noise Induced Hearing Loss

Hearing loss prevention is possible through compliance with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.

Factors that contribute to hearing damage are noise levels and how long people are exposed to the noise, daily or over a number of years.

The most efficient and effective way of ensuring hearing conservation and legal compliance is by a programme of controlling noise through technical and organisational means that protect workers at source, e.g. changes in process, reducing vibration (damping), reducing time spent in noisy areas and health surveillance for hearing loss to monitor the effectiveness of the programme. The use of hearing protection relies on employee compliance and can be costly in the longer term.

Peritus Health Management carries out noise surveys and supports you with action planning to reduce noise at source, in transmission, or at employee level depending on your workplace activities.

Is Health Surveillance Required?

Health surveillance is required for noise hazards where your noise survey has highlighted that:

Is It a Legal Requirement? 

This is a requirement of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations.

How Frequently Should I Do Hearing Tests?

Baseline hearing test is recommended on commencement of exposure or as soon as possible.

Annual hearing tests should continue for 2 years after commencement.

3 yearly hearing tests can then be done if the hearing test results are stable, if not a review of exposure and annual hearing tests are recommended until the hearing loss is stable.

What Is Involved In Hearing Surveillance?

Each test involves:

What If Employees Have a Hearing Problem?

If employees are identified with a hearing deficit or problem, you will need to think about what risks this may pose in their work activities. We strongly recommend that you involve each employee with their personal risk assessments – talk to them about their individual needs and ask them whether they are experiencing difficulties at work. Remember to reassure them that you are looking to help as they may be concerned about their job security and not give you a full picture.

Action on Hearing Loss gives an overview of products and technology available to help individuals in the workplace.

The Access to Work programme can provide practical and financial support for people who have a disability to help them staff in work.

What About Earphone Induced Hearing Loss?

Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by work or leisure activities, such as the use of earphones, attending music festivals or gigs, riding a motorbike, shooting etc.

To protect against unfair claims, you will need evidence of your noise surveys, employee exposure, control measures, employee training, ear protection issue and health surveillance.

We can support you with the audit of your processes to ensure you have evidence that you have fulfilled your duty of care and compliance obligations.

Want to Find Out More?

For more information about our hearing conservation, contact us.

Published date: 19th February 2018

Last revision: 10th June 2020

Taking care of your workforce

Reduce sickness absence + Identify and take control of your health risks