Noise Advice for Freelance Musicians and Technicians

Music is perceived as pleasant but can sometimes be loud to produce its effect,
while the sound of a jet engine, for example, is regarded as unpleasant.
However, both are physically the same thing as far as the ear is concerned. If
a sound level is too high or carries on for too long, your hearing may be
damaged. This guidance aims to help prevent damage to the hearing of people
working in music and entertainment from loud noise, including music.

The music and entertainment industries are unique in that high noise levels and
extremely loud special effects are often regarded as essential elements of an
event. High levels of sound are common, for example in bars, nightclubs,
orchestras, theatres and recording studios. However, loud sounds, whatever
their source, can damage hearing. Hearing damage is permanent, irreversible and
causes deafness - hearing aids cannot reverse it. Performers and other workers
in music and entertainment are just as likely to have their hearing permanently
damaged as workers in other industries.

Reducing noise risks in music and entertainment is not about destroying art,
but about protecting people - artists, performers and ancillary workers
equally. The hearing of performers is critical and needs to be protected. There
are cases of performers being unable to carry on their profession because of
hearing damage as a consequence of their work. With properly implemented
measures, the risk from noise in the workplace and the risk of damage to
workers' hearing will be reduced.

The British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published a guidance to
provide practical advice on developing noise-control strategies in the music
and entertainment industries to prevent or minimise the risk of hearing damage
from the performance of both live and recorded music. It will also help
performers and other workers and employers meet their legal obligations under
the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations). It has
been produced by a working group of industry stakeholders with the support of
the Health and Safety Executive.

This guidance will help:

  • Venue owners.

  • Venue designers and builders.

  • Venue operators and managers.

  • Musicians, performers and entertainers and their employers.

  • Promoters and producers.

  • Technical, production, service and support staff and their employers.

  • Suppliers of sound equipment.

  • Those involved in musical education.

  • Anyone whose work may create a noise hazard in the music or entertainment

More info - Source: Health and Safety Executive