Noise Regs training requirements

"Here's some ear muffs, wear them or you'll get a slap". That's it, all done. Move along now.

If only life was so easy. L108 gives some quite specific detail on what employee training must contain and this kicks in when the lower levels of 80 dB(A) or 135 dB(C) are met or exceeded. That bit is important as it means some employees must receive noise safety training even if they are not in workplaces where wearing hearing protection is mandatory. These individual training elements are in the Regulations rather than the accompanying guidance therefore there is no option to omit various bits and all of them must be covered in any noise awareness training courses. Our noise awareness training covers all these.

Nature of noise and its risks

A basic bit on what noise is and what it can do to hearing.

Organisational controls for noise

Who at the HSE writes these headings? I'd swear English isn't their first or even second language sometimes. Put more clearly, this is what the employer is doing to try and control exposures to high noise via something other than hearing protection. For example, low noise surfaces on loading ramps, plastic guards to reduce impact noise, limiting time spent in high noise areas, etc.

The noise exposure limits

What the limits are, namely the 80 dB(A) / 135 dB(C) and 85 dB(A) and 137 dB(C) bits of the noise regs.

The noise assessment

Any significant findings from the noise assessment for where they work - usually what the high noise risk areas are in their workplace.

Hearing protection

Where they can get hearing protection at work and importantly, how to wear it correctly and how to identify problems with it such as pads cracking, etc..

Detecting hearing loss

How they can look for and detect signs of hearing loss and what to do about it if they do notice it.


A bit on the entitlement to hearing tests if the upper limits of 85 dB(A) or 137 dB(C) are met. If hearing tests have been done then the collective results of any previous hearing testing programmes should be included but it must be anonymous.

(I can't resist one comment on this very last part - this is an absolutely useless requirement! A list of "75% of people we tested were category 1, 12% were category 2", etc. is totally meaningless without something to reference it against, otherwise how do they know if those percentages are good or bad? And unless the workplace has several thousand employees then percentage figures are utterly meaningless anyway. A facile and stupid item to include in the regulations! There, I feel better for that. This is cheaper than therapy.) 

Noise training summary

Not all this has to be provided in one hit providing the employer can show it is being covered over time, so feel free to break it up into small chunks if that works better.

This is list is not exhaustive by the way but is the minimum content of the training.

And of course, it would be remiss to miss an opportunity to remind you that we can do this training for you and happily cover all shifts.