What do you need to know?

  • You are advised whenever undertaking freelance work, to ensure clarification of the responsibilities under the Noise Regulations and to ensure that any risks are controlled – this is best established by the contract of engagement
  • Freelancers need to ensure that their daily exposure to noise does not exceed 85 dB or wear hearing protection. You are advised to wear hearing protection if your exposure is 80 dB or above. If you undertake more than one session or activity (i.e, practising/rehearsing/teaching) during a day, you should assess your exposure
  • You may carry out a number of engagements during the day and, whilst an engagement may not present a risk on its own, the noise exposure from the combination of engagements could expose you to the risk of hearing damage
  • Noise Regulations require each employer to manage the risk to their employees and, so far as reasonably practicable, any other persons at work such as freelancers  
  • Engagers/contractors should take reasonable steps to ascertain the freelancer’s exposure during other engagements in the day and manage the risk to the freelancer’s hearing
  • The Musicians’ Union can provide you with a Hearing Passport to help you with this process

You’ll find more detailed information in:

What do you need to do?

  • Ask the engager/contractor to provide advance information of their likely exposure before the session begins
  • Maintain a record of your noise exposure and note when you are using hearing protection. This will assist in determining the extent of significant exposure during a given period. You should log your exposure(s) on a daily basis to assist you in understanding your typical exposure
  • It is important that freelancers protect themselves from hearing damage and undertake hearing health surveillance

You’ll find information on the Musicians Union Noise Hearing Passport under Information, instruction and training in:


  • If a musician were to be exposed for 3 hours at 88 dB, the daily exposure would be 84 dB, so the wearing of hearing protection is sensible However, if this exposure happened three times in the day the total daily exposure would be 88 dB. In this situation the musician’s hearing would be at greater risk.

You’ll find more detailed information in:

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