Use the Shout Test to Protect Workers’ Hearing

29 Nov

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) research shows around a fifth of the working population could be exposed to high noise levels.

Although new cases of occupational deafness have reduced significantly over the past decade, the HSE is urging employers to consider using the Shout Test to manage noise at work.

HSE’s noise expert Chris Steel said: “If you are shouting at work and can’t be heard from two metres away, the chances are there’s a noise issue. Preserving hearing at work is crucial as noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing damage. But there needs to be a balance. While too little noise reduction could cause hearing damage, too much could isolate the worker and lead to accidents.”

According to the Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC) those who have been employed in the armed services, shipyards, construction and agriculture, are the most likely affected groups.

Chris Steel continued: “While the prevalence of occupational noise-induced hearing loss has decreased over the last forty years, mostly through noise control technology, the dangers still need to be taken seriously.”

Employers have a legal duty to assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from noise exposure so that they can protect the hearing of their workers.

If you are already using hearing protection, it needs to be effectively managed and using CUFF, as a reminder, can help:

C = Condition – is the hearing protection in good condition?

U = Use – are workers using the hearing protection all the times they should be?

F = Fit – does the hearing protection fit the wearer?

F = Fit for purpose – have you selected hearing protection that gives the right level of noise reduction?

Get in touch

For further information, please visit HSE: Noise at Work – Health and Safety in the Workplace or if you require assistance with completing a noise survey, please contact Kelly Ladd at