§ Mr. Litherland
asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he is satisfied with the current protection of workers from noise; and if he will make a statement on the EEC directive on the wearing of hearing protection.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
I am satisfied that the Health and Safety Executive is taking effective action to secure the protection of workers from noise as described in the reply given by my predecessor to my hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) on 24 January 1984 at column 488.
The proposed EC directive, on the protection of workers from noise, is not concerned only with hearing protection, but the provision and wearing of hearing protection in work places where it is not reasonably practicable to limit exposure to an acceptable level by other means is an essential feature of it, as it would be of any domestic legislation on this subject. Negotiations on the proposed directive have been making progress, and are to be reviewed by the Social Affairs Council at its meeting on 13 December.