Every employer knows that there are a million and one things that need thinking about when it comes to employee Health & Safety. And, as the old adage goes: ‚’out of sight is out of mind’. Unfortunately, this is particularly true in the case of perhaps the most consistently overlooked area of Health & Safety – Noise at Work. Below are the top 5 reasons to safeguard your employees and yourself through monitoring your workplace noise levels:
- Noise-induced hearing loss – excessive exposure to noise can permanently damage a person’s hearing, as well as inducing tinnitus. Both can drastically alter quality of life and are easily prevented. Noise at work needn’t be unbearably loud to warrant action; consistent exposure to high levels over time will also likely lead to noise-induced hearing loss. Nowadays, noise is best thought of in terms of daily and weekly ‚’dosages’ (kind of like vitamins…). Check out your recommended dosages here.
- It’s the law – aside from being conscientious and providing a comfortable working environment, employers also have a legal obligation to protect the aural health of their workers. The Noise at Work Act (2005) came into effect on April 6th 2006, with the UK Health & Safety Executive outlining the steps employers need to take.
- Where there’s blame… – in light of the relatively new laws, noise-induced hearing loss and industrial deafness claims are on the rise. It is thought that approximately 80,000 new noise at work related claims were made last year.
- Longterm expense – prevention is better than cure, and it’s not just the employee who pays the cost for inadequate protection from noise at work. It has been estimated that even a mild noise-induced hearing loss with tinnitus may incur an employer a minimum of ¬£4,000 should they be found to be legally at fault. With the upper ceiling of claims being recorded at up to ¬£60,000, it pays to take every precaution possible.
- Happy workers – good employers know that happy workers means increased productivity. The stresses and quality of life impact, which can result from excessive noise at work, can have a severe effect on both workers and the workplace. Make sure that you’re protecting your workers, reputation and business.