Managing Noise Hazards

Learn how to manage noise hazards at the workplace.

Noise Hazards

Prolonged exposure to excessive noise can cause irreversible damage to the ears. Noise hazards at the workplace must be effectively managed to eliminate or minimise noise-related risks.

Noise Control Measures

Consider the following risk control measures to reduce noise issues at your workplace:

 

Principles of control

Risk control measures

At the noise source

  • Minimise the number of machines running at the same time.
  • Provide vibration control or isolation to vibrating surfaces.
  • Perform periodic maintenance of machines and equipment (e.g. replace worn parts, lubricate moving parts).

Along the noise path

  • Locate machines further away from workers who are affected by the noise.
  • Move machines away from hard reflective surfaces or away from room corners.
  • Use sound absorbing material on walls and ceilings.

At the receiver

  • Enclose noisy machines with acoustic barriers.
  • Use correct hearing protectors.

Employer's Role

To protect employees from the adverse effects of excessive noise, you should:

  • Conduct a risk assessment to identify workplace noise hazards and evaluate the risks.
  • Seek advice on proper noise control measures (e.g. appoint a noise control officer).
  • Implement a comprehensive Hearing Conservation Programme (HCP). Refer to the WSH Guidelines on Hearing Conservation Programme (PDF).
  • Send affected employees for pre-employment and annual audiometric examinations.
  • Provide suitable hearing protectors such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Employee's Role

You must:

  • Observe warning signs on hearing protection.
  • Wear proper hearing protectors.
  • Report machine breakdown and identify the source of noise.
  • Seek medical help if you experience hearing problems.

For More Information

Refer to the Worker's Safety Handbook on Working in Noisy Environment (PDF).