Learning for Life: Noise at work

Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are the
processes by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their

There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,
study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.
Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-date
with what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifying
what you have learned is not always easy.

These questions are designed to help you to identify what you have learned
from studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you can
apply to practice, what you did not understand and what you need to explore

1. How many years have the Noise at Work Regulations given employers a
legal obligation to prevent hearing damage?

a) 5
b) 10
c) 15
d) 20

2. What is the emphasis of the European Directive 2003/10/EC? To prevent
noise exposure through:

a) Wearing hearing protection
b) Undertaking regular audiometry
c) Raising exposure levels
d) Incorporating measures at the design stage

3. Noise is defined as:

a) Unbearable sound
b) Unwanted sound
c) Loud sounds
d) Unnecessary sound

4. Which example is given as a loud piece of orchestral music?

a) Tchaikovsky’s 1812
b) Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks
c) Handle’s Wassermusik
d) Pachelbel Canon

5. At what level does the individual develop loss of sensitivity to

a) 40KHz
b) 4KHz
c) 4Hz
d) 40Hz

6. Sensitivity to noise is called:

a) Presbycusis
b) Presbyopia
c) Hyperacusis
d) Phonphobia

7. What was the author’s highest dosimetry reading from the musicians in
certain sections?

a) 85dB(A)
b) 90dB(A)
c) 140dB(A)
d) 94dB(A)

8. Which instruments are responsible for these dosimetry levels?

a) Woodwind and strings
b) Brass and strings
c) Woodwind and brass
d) Tympani and strings

9. What health surveillance should be carried out on workers exposed to

a) Questionnaire, examination of the ear, audiometry
b) Questionnaire, examination of the ear, respiratory function
c) Questionnaire, respiratory function, audiometry
d) Respiratory function, examination of the ear, audiometry

10. Which of the following information is NOT required as part of a
hearing conservation programme?

a) Family history
b) Occupational history
c) Leisure activities
d) Marital status


1) c – Until then, many employers refused to do anything
about noise at work and even now some small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
may not have complied. Undertake your own survey of people working in public
places exposed to noise and see what preventative measures you can spot. 2)
d –
This is an ergonomic issue and should be the first level of control.
Consider simple ways in which noise can be reduced. 3) b – Interesting
that it is unwanted sound and that music, for the musician, is very much wanted
sound. Can you think of a better definition? 4) a 5) b – This question
is there to stress the importance of correct use of units and how easy it can
be to mix them up, not only on these sort of measurements but on others, such
as the administration of medicines, for example vaccinations. Refresh your
knowledge of the various units we use in OH. 6) c – Do you know the meanings
of all these terms? If not, look them up and ensure you do not get them
confused 7) d 8) c 9) a – Remember that health surveillance is only part
of a hearing conservation programme. Obtain a copy of the HSE Noise at Work
booklet (free or can be downloaded from www.hsebooks.co.uk). 10) d
Marital status is not necessary – well, unless you have a nagging spouse or

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