Noise Regulations

nightclub1Key messages

  • There is evidence that exposure to live music can cause hearing damage.
  • Noise Regulations require each employer to manage the risk to their employees and, where possible, freelancers.
  • Control, reduce and monitor exposure to noise.
  • Many of the controls are simple and cost-effective.
  • The audience can still enjoy the performance with the controls in place.

What are the regulations about noise protection?

Although The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006, the music and entertainment sectors came into to force on 6th 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).

These new regulations bring into line with current European Union directives.

How loud is loud?

The level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is now 85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure). This is roughly the same volume as loud speech. 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.

How can I find out more about these regulations?

We would be happy to answer questions you may have regarding conformity. For some background reading The Health and Safety Executive have an excellent website providing a host of useful information and advice. Or, try out the industry website – Sound Advice. Representatives from all sectors of the music and entertainment industry were involved in producing this information.

If you are unsure of the noise levels that you or your employees are exposed to we can provide on-site noise measurements. This will help to determine your average and peak levels. Based on this information we can advise on methods of noise control and appropriate hearing protection.