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Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005


These regulations apply to all work places and require employers to carry out assessments of the noise levels within their premises and take appropriate preventative and protective actions where necessary.

These regulations revoke the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 on 6th April 2006.

The main differences from the 1989 Noise Regulations are:

  • the two action values for daily noise exposure have been reduced by 5dB to 85dB(A) and 80dB(A);
  • there are now two action values for peak noise at 135dB(C) and 137dB(C);
  • there are new exposure limit values of 87dB(A) (daily exposure) and 140dB(C) (peak noise) which takes into account the effect of wearing hearing protection and which must not be exceeded;
  • there is a specific requirement to provide health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

The Regulations require employers to:

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

The Regulations do not apply to:

  • members of the public exposed to noise from their non-work activities, or making an informed choice to go to noisy places;
  • low-level noise which is a nuisance but causes no risk of hearing damage.


The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 are designed to protect against risks to both health and safety from exposure to noise - the health risk of hearing damage in those exposed, and safety risks such as the noise affecting the ability to hear instructions or warnings.

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