Hearing loss caused by exposure to excessive noise at work continues to be a significant cause of occupational disease.

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People can suffer deafness, tinnitus or other forms of hearing damage. Vibration from hand-held power tools can also damage hands and fingers, causing painful disorders of the blood vessels, nerves and joints.

 The risks from noise and vibration are easily controlled by:

  • identifying potential sources of noise or vibration
  • assessing how great the risk is by measuring noise levels, looking at exposure times, who is exposed and work activities
  • putting into place control measures to reduce the risk
  • monitoring how effective the control measure are by carrying out health surveillance

If you are participating activities that generate noise or vibration, but are unsure whether you’re at risk, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Do you have to raise their voice at work to have a normal conversation with someone who is 2m (6ft) away?
  • Do you use noisy powered tools or machinery for over half an hour a day?
  • Do you regularly use powered tools such as sanders, grinders, tablesaws and disc cutters

If you answered 'yes' to any of the questions above you may be at increased risk from hearing damage and the effects of vibration. Always wear the appropriate hearing protection provided to you and take regular breaks away from the noisy environment.

If you need further advice, please raise the issue with your course tutor.

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