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RR966 - Current Practice in health surveillance for noise

Although current HSE Guidance outlines what is required with regards to noise health surveillance, little available information existed on how health surveillance for workers exposed to noise was being implemented and conducted on a day-to-day basis and the quality of such health surveillance.

The aims of this study were to provide an indication of the quality and range of current practice in the delivery of health surveillance for workers exposed to noise at work in Great Britain.

The establishment of noise health surveillance was found to be conducted in a proactive manner with respondents demonstrating their knowledge of the importance and the value of risk assessment. Additionally, communication was seen as a vital component to the effectiveness and success of any noise health surveillance programme.

Variations in practitioner training, background and the setting in which they work created the potential for differences in perspectives and practices that were reflected in the range of responses to questions in this study. This was seen at many levels throughout the assessment process, from pre-test checks, to undertaking audiometry, access to previous test data, categorisation and interpretation of results, frequency of audiometry and the feedback provided to both employee and employer.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2013-03-25