Pubs offered advice on how to protect staff from excessive noise

Related tags Occupational safety and health Employment Hse

Pubs are being offered official advice on how to protect bar staff's hearing from loud music.The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published...

Pubs are being offered official advice on how to protect bar staff's hearing from loud music.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published results of research by the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, which aimed to find simple and practical measures companies can take to improve the use of hearing protection and the attitude of workers towards it. The HSE campaign comes ahead of new European legislation, which would impose a maximum noise limit of 85 decibels on workplaces.

Most live music or karaoke in pubs would exceed the limit, and the HSE has made it clear it expects pubs to comply with the limit in the same way as factories or other businesses more normally associated with workplace noise.However, pubs will have until 2007 to enforce the ruling, which is expected to be in force in other workplaces by 2005.

The new research covers areas such as a choice of hearing protection and offers information on instruction and training to staff.

Andie Michael, HSE's noise policy adviser, said: "It is important that all workers exposed to hazardous noise levels wear appropriate hearing protection. Employers are required to provide it, and employees to wear it.

"This research gives us some recommendations on encouraging the use of hearing protection that have been shown to work and that we can incorporate into the new guidance.

"Most of the recommendations are based on common sense and should not be too onerous. They will help employers get it right first time, not only saving their employees' hearing, but saving time and money in the longer term."

The HSE publication, "Behavioural studies of people's attitudes to wearing hearing protection and how these might be improved," is available form HSE Books on 01787 881165, or can be ordered online at

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