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Construction noise

Regular, frequent exposure to loud noise can be permanently damage hearing.

This is most likely with high noise exposure. Occasional or low-level exposure is unlikely to cause ill-health.

Noise can also create a safety risk if it makes it difficult for workers to communicate effectively or stops the hearing of warning signals. 

With hearing damage, conversation becomes difficult or impossible, and using the telephone becomes more difficult, together with the inability to sleep. 

As a rule of thumb an indication of the noise levels can be made by these two assessments: 

  • Two-metre rule: if you have to raise your voice (or repeat yourself) to someone who is standing two metres away then the noise level is likely to be above 85dB.
  • One-metre rule: if speech is difficult at a distance of just one metre then the noise level could be 90dB or more. 
The Control of Noise at work Regulations 2005
  • Noise limits to which employees may be exposed to while at work are 80-85dB(A) over an 8 hour period. 
  • No noise exposure above 87dB(A).
  • Employers must reduce noise levels over 85dB(A) and provide hearing protection. 

Click view to download the regulations. 

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)

Find out more practical advice and guidance on the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. 



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