§ Mr. Oakes
asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity if she will introduce regulations to control the permitted noise level in industry and to provide for regular medical examinations for incipient deafness for all employees in industries where a high volume of noise is unavoidable.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
The protection of employed persons against the harmful346W effects of noise is one of the matters dealt with in the general proposals for new safety, health and welfare legislation at present under consideration. The possible provisions my right hon. Friend has in mind include a ban on continuous exposure to noise above a specified level; a general requirement to reduce noise as far as reasonably practicable; and where workers are unavoidably exposed to noise above a specified level, a requirement to provide them with ear defenders. It is also proposed that there should be power to make regulations about noise. The question of medical examinations will be considered further in the light of the forthcoming report of the survey on occupational deafness carried out by the Medical Research Council and the National Physical Laboratory for the Department of Health and Social Security.