Health Surveillance for Noise

Work Place Activity or Hazard:

Exposure to noise as identified through risk assessment and in line with the  Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

Health Surveillance requirements:

Health surveillance (audiometry) is required where employee(s):

  • are likely to be regularly exposed above the upper exposure action values of  a daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 85 dB (A-weighted); and/or a peak sound pressure of 137 dB (C-weighted).*
  • or are at risk for any reason, e.g. they already suffer from hearing loss.

*Note This does not take account of any hearing protection used.

Ideally, health surveillance should begin before people are exposed to noise (ie for new starters or those changing jobs), to give a baseline.

Department Action:

(Guidance on how to establish if Health Surveillance requirements are met (as part of your risk assessment))

Complete a HS1 form and register with UOHS for health surveillance where criteria in column 3 are met.

To establish whether the upper action level is likely to be exceeded a noise assessment needs to be undertaken.

To gauge whether a noise assessment is necessary please see table below:

Table Simple tests to see if a noise risk assessment is needed



Probable noise level

A risk assessment will be needed if the noise is like this for more than:

The noise is intrusive but normal conversation is possible


6 hours

You have to shout to talk to someone 2m away


2 hours

You have to shout to talk to someone 1m away


45 minutes



Controlling noise at work  in particular Part 2 managing noise risks (page 36 onwards) and the guidance in Table 1 (p 14)

HSE Exposure calculator and ready-reckoner

 And UPS S1/06 . Para 14 gives a guide to typical noise levels and examples)

Occupational Health Action:

(Following receipt of an appropriate registration form)

UOHS will send the employee an audiometric questionnaire to complete

The employee may be enrolled onto a relevant surveillance programme

Further Information:

Please refer to your supervisor, departmental or divisional/ area safety officer if you need further assistance in interpreting this information and how it relates to the work, and the risk assessment that is being undertaken.