Bradford Crown Court had fined a Keighley based company £15,000 and ordered to pay £4,457 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The firm who specialise in the production of foam and feather furnishing has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE told the court that the company had failed to provide any noise level assessments for a period of seven years.
The noise levels exceeded an unacceptable working level in 2008 and 2011 when additional machines had been introduced onto the factory floor. The HSE reported that this had caused noise levels to exceed two and three times the maximum permitted.
Wearing Personal Protection Equipment was not made compulsory until 2013 and a health screening programme for employees was not introduced until 40 employees required a hearing test in the same year.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector David Welsh said:
“Prolonged exposure to excessive and often constant levels of noise where people work day after day is a recognised threat to health and can lead to noise-induced hearing loss – a condition that can be severely debilitating.
“It is very important for employers to do what is required to prevent employees from being exposed to potentially harmful noise levels. If such exposure cannot be prevented, then they must ensure that workers are wearing the right kind of personal hearing protection and receive regular health checks.”
Advice on exposure and noise levels at work can be found on HSE’s website: