(Toolbox Talk) Noise

Table of Contents
noise toolbox talk


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase awareness of the effects of noise in the workplace.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

Noise at work

Noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus are among the most common occupational health effect, and it is incurable. Once you lose your hearing, you can’t get it back!

All power tools generate noise, including; compressors, concrete mixers, circular saws, breakers, that can damage your hearing.

You do not have to be using noisy equipment to be affected by it; you just have to be close by.

If you have to shout to be heard (2m away) then the noise level can be regarded as high enough to necessitate the wearing of hearing protection.


Wear hearing protection at all times when exposed to a noise hazard. DO NOT IGNORE noise hazard warning signs.

Wear suitable and adequate hearing protection and wear it properly. Ear defenders will not work when worn on top of your head!

Ear muffs must be a good fit, particularly where the seal fits the head, and must be worn the correct way round.

If ear plugs are used make sure they are a good fit, that you know how to fit them, that they are fitted properly, and are kept clean.

Use disposable ear plugs only once and then dispose of them. Keep reusable ear plugs clean.

Ensure hands are clean when handling all types of ear protection, and make sure hearing protection is stored in a clean environment.

Do not alter pressure of ear defenders by bending the band.

Report any damaged, lost or unserviceable ear protection immediately.

Consider other options for reducing noise in the workplace, e.g. turn off unused machinery, keep cement mixer and compressor covers closed, ensure air lines do not leak, fit noise reduction devices to tools where applicable, move the source of the noise further away or shield the source of the noise, etc.