PPE and noise

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Implementing Hearing Protection at Work

Adhering to HSE guidelines, providing and using hearing protection in the workplace is vital to prevent hearing damage due to occupational noise.

When is Hearing Protection Necessary?

Hearing protectors should be provided in scenarios such as:

  • Voluntary use by employees exposed to noise between the lower and upper exposure action values.
  • Mandatory provision when noise levels exceed the upper exposure action values.
  • Extra protection required due to high or intermittent intense noise levels.
  • As a temporary measure until more permanent noise control solutions are implemented.

Choosing the Right Hearing Protection

Key considerations for selecting suitable hearing protectors include:

  • Compatibility with noise levels and frequency
  • Comfort and compatibility with other PPE
  • Work environment suitability

Maintenance and Compliance

Ensuring the effectiveness of hearing protectors involves:

  • Regular maintenance checks for functionality and cleanliness
  • Compliance with safety standards and CE marking

Training and Usage by Employees

Effective use of hearing protection by employees requires:

  • Proper training on usage, including when and how to wear them
  • Understanding the significance of consistent use in noisy environments

Assessing Effectiveness and Employee Training

Employers must:

  • Regularly assess the effectiveness of provided hearing protection
  • Conduct employee training programmes to ensure awareness and correct usage of PPE


By following HSE guidelines for hearing protection, employers can significantly reduce the risk of hearing damage among employees, ensuring a safer work environment.