Noise

Noise

Noise means unwanted sound or loud discordant or disagreeable sound or sounds.

The effect of noise on hearing can be temporary or permanent. Temporary deafness is often experienced after leaving a noisy place. Although hearing recovers within a few hours, this should not be ignored as it is a sign that continued or regular exposure to such noise could cause permanent damage.

Hearing loss is usually gradual due to prolonged exposure to noise. it may only be when damage caused by noise over the years combines with normal hearing loss due to ageing that people realise how deaf they have become. Hearing damage can also be caused immediately by sudden, extremely loud noises, though this is not common.

Exposure to noise may also cause tinnitus, which is a sensation of noises (such as ringing or buzzing) in the ears. This can occur in combination with hearing loss.

Legislation

Chapter 1 of Part 5 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007) as amended from 12 November 2007 by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amended) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 732 of 2007) sets down the minimum requirements for the protection of workers from the health risks associated with noise in the workplace.