How to make sell and buy quiet a reality in Britain



Hearing loss caused by excessive exposure to noise at work remains reportedly widespread. Purchase of quieter machinery is an efficient method of reducing both occupational noise exposure and the need to manage risk from noise, but it requires reliable noise information. Machinery supplied in Britain must have noise risk minimized and, where noise continues to present a risk, be supplied with data making clear the potential for noise risk, enabling identification of lower noise models and indicating methods of controlling that risk. In 2012 a pre-market surveillance exercise reported 80% non-compliance with these legal requirements and found it highly unlikely that buyers and users of machinery could make reliable decisions based on the noise data provided with machines. This paper considers the prospect of Sell and Buy Quiet becoming a reality in Britain through: restoring stakeholder confidence in noise data; establishing incentives for stakeholder action; making low noise machinery identifiable; clarifying and simplifying noise legislation; and improving some noise test codes.