Noise can be sound that ’just’ disturbs you, or sound that can damage your hearing. Removing or reducing noise at the workplace is profitable. The more safe and healthy your work environment, the lower the risk of being affected by costs for absenteeism, accidents, and employees who are not able to work at their full capacity.

For a good environment regarding sound, one has to work preventively, regularly, and long term with noise issues. The employer has the responsibility for this.

Regulations about noise

The Swedish Work Environment Authority’s provisions about noise, AFS 2005:16, contain regulations about both hearing-damaging and disturbing noise. There are demands that always apply, as well as demands for difference noise levels. 

Demands that always apply

The employer must plan, drive, and follow up the work so that the noise to which the employees are subjected is reduced through the noise being removed where it arises, or reduced as far as possible. One must then take into consideration technical developments and the possibilities of limiting the noise.

The employer should investigate the working conditions and assess the risks of the employees being subjected to noise in their work. In order to ascertain whether one reaches or exceeds the occupational exposure limit values, one should find out what noise the employees are subjected to. If necessary, one should also carry out measurements of the noise. Those who plan and carry out this must have the necessary knowledge and do this at regular intervals.

The employees must have the possibility to be involved in questions that are covered by the provisions, particularly when it comes to risk assessment, measures and choice of hearing protection.

The measures must be adapted to employees who can be particularly sensitive to noise. These can be, for example, people with hearing impairments or someone who is pregnant.

If someone who works in a noisy environment needs to be able to contact others for safety reasons, the employer must take steps to see that it is possible.

Last updated 2021-09-23