Health and Safety Executive has its say on noise limits in pubs

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Noise levels, European parliament

The issue of whether pubs should be responsible for protecting workers against noise has reared its head again.Research published by the Health and...

The issue of whether pubs should be responsible for protecting workers against noise has reared its head again.

Research published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claims there is a need to educate owners and employees on noise levels and noise exposure in licensed premises so that they are aware of the risks.

But the executive does not go as far as to say whether it agrees with European proposals to cut maximum noise levels from 90 to 85 decibels.

Andie Michael, the HSEs noise policy adviser, said: "There are two issues here. The first is protecting the hearing of those at work, for which there is already existing legislation and guidance that employers should be following.

"This applies as much in pubs and clubs as it does in a noisy factory. The second is protecting the public.

"The report is saying that people who spend a lot of time in places that play loud amplified music should know that they risk damaging their hearing."

This follows news that the European Parliament is facing a stand-off over plans to force licensees to cut noise levels, which could mean the end of live music and entertainment in pubs.

Previously, trade campaigners had been pleased to hear that an amendment had been put forward exempting pubs for five years while more research was carried out.

But now the plans have ground to a halt after the European Council and the European Parliament failed to agree on the amendment.

It is understood that the European Council, which has to rubber stamp all legislation from the European Parliament, is opposed to the amendment. If no agreement can be reached, the legislation, which is currently at its third reading, could be dropped altogether.

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