Use Hearing Protection Correctly

  • HSE research paper RR720 (2009) found that, in the workplace: 40% of PPE users got no protection whatsoever; the performance of much of the remaining 60% was inadequate; even with generally effective PPE use, 14% of personnel did not wear them.
  • The evidence reaffirms that real world protection is considerably lower than that quoted by the manufacturers (HSE 2009)
  • 90% of NIHL is preventable with correct wear of hearing protection –INVC and HSE wear rate calculator (max protection in region of 9 dB(A)) (INVC 2009)
  • Whilst the legal level at which employers need to take action is set at an 85dB(A) dose, there is evidence that damage can begin to occur at 75dB(A) (WHO, EPA, ISO documents)
  • Evidence from HSE research (2008) found that in a sample of 19 organisations surveyed the range of compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations ranged from 50% to 100%. Common shortcomings were noise surveys that did not allow individual exposures to be estimated, insufficient awareness raising and training of workers to recognise risks of noise and protect themselves properly any plans for continuous improvement.