Safety Services



Exposure to noise that will damage hearing should be assessed and managed with suitable controls.

On this page

Do you work in a noisy environment?

You probably work in a noisy environment if:

  • You have to raise your voice to be heard by someone just two metres away for at least part of the day
  • You use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour a day
  • Your work causes impacts such as hammering


  • Damage to hearing (either temporary or permanent) or loss of hearing
  • Distraction or disruption to concentration when working on safety critical tasks

Controlling exposure

Exposure to noise that will damage hearing should be assessed and managed with suitable controls. Controls include some or all of the following:

  • Using designed engineering controls that reduce noise such as using noise absorbing materials and screens and barriers as a first measure
  • Providing equipment with in built noise control measures e.g. silencers, sound booths
  • Providing workers with general awareness information, instruction and training
  • Limiting access to noisy areas to permitted staff only
  • Limiting the time exposed to a noisy activity
  • Using additional personal protective equipment (PPE) if safe noise levels cannot be achieved by other means including the above e.g. ear muffs, defenders and ear plugs.

> Information on hearing protection and other PPE

  • Issues relating to noise generated as a result of UCL building and maintenance works should be reported to the Estates Customer Helpdesk.

> Estates Customer Helpdesk

Health surveillance

UCL, as an employer, must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to noise. To assess the risks please refer to the HSE guidance at the following link:

> HSE - Noise: How do I assess the risks?

For employees who are likely to be regularly exposed above the upper noise exposure values (85dB) or are at higher risk due to medical conditions such as suffering hearing loss, tinnitus or are particularly sensitive to damage UCL must provide health surveillance (hearing checks).

To arrange health surveillance for your employees you need to contact Workplace Health.

> UCL Workplace Health

Last updated: Tuesday, July 23, 2019