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Document ID (ISN)111800
CIS number 11-0474
Year 2008
Convention or series no. RR 669
Author(s) Lutman M.E., Davis A.C., Ferguson M.A.
Health and Safety Executive
Title Epidemiological evidence for the effectiveness of the noise at work regulations
Bibliographic information HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. x, 85p. Illus. 69 ref.
Internet access RR_669.pdf [in English]
Abstract The United Kingdom Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Regulations) are designed to minimize the risk of occupational noise-induced hearing loss. This study examined their effectiveness in a longitudinal field study, where participants were followed-up annually over a period of three years. Audiometric and otoacoustic emission measures were obtained in 154 recruits aged 18-25 years at risk of noise-induced hearing loss through occupational exposure and 99 non-exposed controls. The study had power to detect approximately 1-2dB change per year, which is a smaller change than would be expected in the noise-exposed participants without protection. There were no significant effects on auditory function, or rate of change in function, in the risk group when other potential explanatory variables were taken into account. Nor were there significant effects when contrasting exposed participants working in companies demonstrating relatively lower or higher compliance with the Regulations. Noise levels in exposed participants averaged approximately 88-89dB(A) before accounting for hearing protection. The only significant effects on hearing demonstrated in the study were small effects of estimated social noise prior to the study, for example at nightclubs or from personal audio systems. It is concluded that there is no evidence of lack of effectiveness of the Regulations.
Descriptors (primary) United Kingdom; hearing loss; limitation of exposure; health programmes; legislation
Descriptors (secondary) audiometric tests; case-control study; programme evaluation; public OSH institutions; research; report
Document type E - Books, reports, proceedings
Country / State or ProvinceUnited Kingdom
Subject(s) Noise, hearing and vibration
Occupational pathology
Administration, legislation
Broad subject area(s) Occupational medicine, epidemiology
Physical hazards
Browse category(ies) Noise
Diseases of the ear and hearing damage
Framework legislation