The noise levels at which employers must take action to protect employees were reduced to 80dB for the lower action level and 85dB for the upper action level from 6 April when The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 / 1643 came into force in the United Kingdom.
At the lower action level, employers must ensure hearing protection is available on request, while they must ensure it is worn at the higher level.
Under the regulations, employers must also:
:: Assess the risks to their employees
:: Take action to reduce the noise exposure that creates these risks
:: Make sure the legal limits (87dB daily or weekly exposure / peak sound pressure of 140dB taking account of hearing protection) are not exceeded
:: Provide information, instruction and training
:: Carry out surveillance where health is at risk