Too much noise at work can lead to permanent hearing damage and other adverse effects, such as temporary hearing loss, tinnitus, inability to sleep (leading to fatigue, poor concentration levels and increased blood pressure) and stress.
The symptoms of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) can start with sounds becoming distorted or muffled –this worsens so gradually that the individual may not be aware of the deterioration until it has a significant impact on their day-to-day life. Noise affects many businesses in different ways. It’s not only their own activities, but neighbours or a unique feature of the location (e.g. crowds and traffic on a high street, or planes taking off near an airport).
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations place a duty on employers (and the self-employed) to prevent or reduce to a minimum, the risks to the health and safety of workers and others to noise (or themselves) as a consequence of exposure at work.