Noise at work regulations 2005

Loud noise at work can damage your hearing. The Noise Regulations 2005 requires employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too.

The Regulations requires employers to:

  • assess the risks to employees from noise at work;
  • take action to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks;
  • provide employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods;
  • make sure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded;
  • provide employees with information, instruction and training;
  • carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

What are the action levels and limit values?
The Noise Regulations require employers to take specific action at certain action values. These relate to:

  • the levels of exposure to noise of employees averaged over a working day or week; and
  • the maximum noise (peak sound pressure) to which employees are exposed in a working day.

The values are:

lower exposure action values:

  • daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB;
  • peak sound pressure of 135 dB;


upper exposure action values:

  • daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB;
  • peak sound pressure of 137 dB.

There are also levels of noise exposure which must not be exceeded:

exposure limit values:

  • daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB;
  • peak sound pressure of 140 dB.
  • MS-QuietBox II noise reduction system benefits