Noise in the workplace

Noise is one of the most common occupational health hazards. In heavy industrial and manufacturing environments, as well as in farms, cafeterias, permanent hearing loss is the main health concern. Annoyance, stress and interference with speech communication are the main concerns in noisy offices, schools and computer rooms.

To prevent adverse outcomes of noise exposure, noise levels should be reduced to acceptable levels. The best method of noise reduction is to use engineering modifications to the noise source itself, or to the workplace environment. Where technology cannot adequately control the problem, personal hearing protection (such as ear muffs or plugs) can be used. Personal protection, however, should be considered as an interim measure while other means of reducing workplace noise are being explored and implemented.

As a first step in dealing with noise, workplaces need to identify areas or operations where excessive exposure to noise occurs.

For more information, please click on the CCOHS link.