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Proposals for new Control of Noise at Work Regulations implementing the Physical Agents (Noise) Directive (2003/10/EC)

Consultation ended: 25 June 2004


This Consultative Document (CD) contains the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC) proposals to introduce new Regulations to control the risks to health from exposure to noise at work. The draft Regulations have been developed in order to comply with the European Union (EU) Physical Agents (Noise) Directive (2003/10/EC) which aims to protect workers from risks to their health arising from exposure to noise - see Annex 3 for the text of the Directive.

Key facts about occupational noise induced hearing loss

  • It is usually gradual, due to prolonged exposure to noise, although it can be caused immediately by sudden, extremely loud, explosive noises such as from guns or cartridge-operated machines.
  • It is irreversible, but completely preventable.
  • Research suggests that just over a million people are exposed to potentially hazardous noise at work.
Updated 2010-05-27