European noise campaign

01 May 2008

The european agency for safety and health at Work will focus on noise for this year's campaign on occupational health issues. According to the Agency, more than a third of Europe's workforce – around 60 million people – is exposed to noisy conditions for more than a quarter of their working time.

Agency director Hans-Horst Konkolewsky said, “Noise at work is still too often viewed as a necessary evil and, as its effects are not instantaneous, it is not considered a priority.”

He continued, “Noise can be a causal factor in accidents, it can contribute to work related stress and may act with other workplace hazards to cause ill health. With the new Noise Directive, which will limit exposure to 87 dB(A), being introduced next year, it is high time to take more decisive action.”

The agency is aiming to raise noise awareness and reduce the risk of workplace noise ahead of the implementation of Stage II of the ‘Noise Directive’, which comes into force in February. The agency's campaign includes the sixth European Good Practice Awards, which will recognise organisations that have made outstanding or innovative contributions to the prevention of risks from noise at work.

Noise will also be the focus of European Week for Safety and Health at Work in October this year, which will be promoted by the agency under the slogan of ‘Stop that noise’. Winners of the sixth European Good Practice Awards will be announced in December this year.

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