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Increasing Noise issues for the Waste sector


A recent spate of noise related issues has impinged upon the ability of businesses to conduct their business and to turn a profit. The issue with excessive noise for business is two-fold, the impact upon a businesses’ employees and the impact upon a businesses’ sensitive receptors.

Occupational noise issues

In the UK, claims for noise induced hearing loss account for 75% of all occupational disease claims, representing a significant financial risk for industrial businesses. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 establish legal limits for noise levels that employees can be exposed to and underline the measures that employers must take to protect their employees from noise. Since 2005 there has been an approximate 460% increase in noise related hearing loss claims, many of which have resulted in substantial pay-outs to the claimant. The increasing prevalence of noise related claims threatens to reduce the profitability of industrial businesses as more and more employees become aware of the potential financial windfall awaiting them, should they be a victim of excessive noise at work.

Waste Site closed over excessive noise levels

A waste management site located in Somerset has been forced to cease activity by the Environment Agency for creating undue noise levels. Nearby sensitive receptors complained to the EA, resulting in the regulator surveying noise levels at the site and at the sensitive receptors. Subsequently the EA informed the site that their permit was to be de-registered, forcing the site to halt all activity. The EA’s survey found that the excessive noise was emanating from the use of a shredding machine as wells as a mechanical grab, plant which is ubiquitous at composting sites. The revocation of the sites’ permit is a direct result of not understanding and managing the risk of noise at site, and this case signals the EA’s intent and ability to enforce punitive action against non-complaint sites.

If you have any questions about noise issues or feel your business could be at risk, please contact our noise specialist Adam Newman at adam.newman@wrm-ltd.co.uk or call him directly on 01943 667 038.



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