HC Deb 18 October 1991 vol 196 c263W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what recent studies have been undertaken by his Department on the environmental effects of noise in the workplace.

Mr. Forth

The Health and Safety Executive has a continuing programme of research into the effects of noise on employees in the workplace. Recent studies include a review of the non-auditory effects of noise which examined the effect of noise on, among other things, employees' performance, efficiency and health. Health and Safety Executive is to publish shortly a report by Professor Douglas Robinson on occupational hearing loss which provides tables to assist with the estimation of hearing loss caused by the combined effects of noise exposure and ageing.

Studies on the effects of workplace noise on the external environment are also being undertaken by the Department of the Environment. The Building Research Establishment is examining the factors which affect the insulation of buildings. This will help to contain noise at source and minimise the transmission of noise from one work environment to another. In addition, research is under way into the degree of acceptability to the public of industrial noise.