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Does noise protection compromise the risk of person to vehicle collisions?

Does noise protection compromise the risk of person to vehicle collisions?

When working in noisy environments such as manufacturing and waste & recycling background noise differentiation can be hard to identify. Whether it is a lorry pulling out of the warehouse or a forklift turning around the nearby bend, both sounds blend into the overall background ambience. Combined with noise-induced hearing loss and the introduction of enforced noise protection, the risk to personnel of collisions with moving vehicles increases.  

Hearing loss caused by noise in working environments 

Hearing loss caused by noise in a working environment is often referred to as occupational deafness and is recognised by law as a serious hazard to employee health and well-being. Unlike the immediate effect of body injuries, hearing loss can take years to manifest itself, but the consequential damage is permanent.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure daily personal noise exposure of that employee is likely to be less than 90 dB(A), and that employee is provided with suitable and efficient personal ear protectors. Noise at work regulations 

UK Law requires employers to:

  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Take action to reduce the exposure to noise hazards
  • Provide employees and others in the workplace with personal hearing protection
  • Ensure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded
  • Maintain and ensure the effective use of equipment provided to control noise risks
  • Provide employees with training, information and instruction
  • Carry out health surveillance (monitor workers’ hearing ability)

Active noise protection 

Active noise protection such as noise-cancelling headsets is designed to protect workers hearing, usually with built-in radio functions to allow staff to communicate without the need to remove headsets, alarmingly this can eliminate background noise such as the sound of an approaching vehicle.  

Relying on human hearing ALONE could result in serious pedestrian and vehicle collisions.  

A visual workplace enhances safety 

A visual workplace is anywhere that relies heavily on people’s sight in order to help prevent accidents and injuries. There are many different visual products that can be purchased or constructed to help enhance safety in your workplace.

Here are some of the most popular products that are on the market: 

  • Floor marking tape
  • Safety labels
  • Signs
  • Safety lighting
  • Visual clothing
  • Visual barriers
  • Visual safety boards


But what happens when sight AND hearing are impaired? 

Some workplaces have excessive sounds that cannot be reduced, and also have visual obstructions, be it racking, boxes and manufacturing products, walls or vehicles. When vehicles and pedestrians work in close proximity to one another, and you are unable to segregate the two, there is a significant risk of injury.

What can ‘see’ through these obstructions and doesn’t need to be heard? 

ZoneSafe significantly increases the safety of workers across your worksite. 

There are many benefits to using ZoneSafe on your worksite. Each proximity warning safety solution can be used as a stand-alone system or combined to create a complete site-wide safety solution. 

  • Full 360-degree proximity detection around vehicles
  • Pedestrian alert warning for drivers
  • Full line of site irrespective of obstructions
  • Vibrating Tag Alert – approaching vehicle warning through vibration
  • Vehicle to vehicle detection alert and warning
  • Walkway and signage alert systems

The result: 

In summary, using active noise protection alongside a proximity warning system ensures risk to workers are reduced.
Contact us for more information about how we can enhance the safety on your worksite today.

Call – +44 (0)1202 868000 

Email – 

Or complete our contact us form here. 

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