Working Group Members

About this guide

This guide contains practical guidelines on the control of noise at work in the music and entertainment sectors, including concert halls and theatres, amplified live music venues, pubs/clubs and studios. It has been put together by representatives from a wide range of music and entertainment sectors in Britain, including professional representatives of Environmental Health Officers. We have also had input and support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Sound Advice concerns exposure to noise, and therefore takes account of the duration of workers' exposure and not simply the noise level. It sets out a range of simple and cost-effective actions that can reduce workers' average daily or weekly exposure to noise. Regular, long-term exposure to noise can lead to permanent, incurable hearing loss. See RNID's website for comments from celebrity musicians, some of whom have had their hearing damaged.

In April 2008 the existing regulations protecting workers in the music and entertainment sectors from exposure to excessive noise will be replaced by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. For other industry sectors these Regulations have been in force since April 2006. The European Directive (2003/10/EC) on which the Regulations are based allowed the music and entertainment sectors a two-year transitional period. This recognised that music is unusual as it is noise deliberately created for enjoyment and therefore practical guidelines are necessary to help workers, employers and freelancers in the music and entertainment sectors protect their hearing.

In line with the Health and Safety Commission's (HSC) stance on sensible risk, I am keen that Sound Advice provides a proportionate approach to risk. This is your opportunity to comment and to offer further examples of good practice that could be incorporated into the final version. This will help to make sure the guide is practical and sensible and to increase industry-wide ownership of the guide. We recognise that individual sectors within the music and entertainment industry may wish to use the final guide, anticipated to be ready by the end of January 2008, as the basis for their own specific guides.

In order to make the content easily accessible, the guide contains key messages and summary pages by sector with more detailed downloads. The aim of Sound Advice is to help you to control or reduce exposure to noise at work without stopping people from enjoying music, whether you are an employer, freelancer or employee. For this reason it is important to take the link to understand your responsibilities before opening relevant options. Safety managers and safety representatives are likely to need to refer to The Whole Story, which includes a link to the Noise Regulations themselves. Others may wish to use this facility as a quick way of accessing the Introduction to the topic of noise in music and entertainment or a particular Sound Advice Note. Please note that Sound Advice is not intended as a guide to the law, which can already be found in Controlling noise at work - The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 L108 available from HSE Books and TSO. Useful general guidance on noise and HSE free leaflets are available from

Please use the Feedback button and respond by 12 October 2007.

Finally, I would like to thank members of the working group, both past and present, for their hard work in drafting over the last three years and the HSE staff.

David Adams
Chair of Music and Entertainment Sector Working Group

List of members of the working group

  • ARUP Acoustics
  • Association of British Orchestras (ABO)
  • Association British Theatre Technicians (ABTT)
  • Bar Entertainment & Dance Association (BEDA)
  • BBC, Occupational Risk Management
  • BBC, Symphony Orchestra
  • BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
  • British Beer and Pub Association
  • Cameron Mackintosh Consultants
  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
  • Concerts Promoters Association
  • Design Intervention Ltd
  • English National Opera
  • Equity
  • General Federation Trade Unions (GFTU)
  • Luminar Leisure Ltd
  • Ministry of Defence (MOD)
  • Musicians Union
  • National Entertainment Safety Association (NESA)
  • Production Services Association (PSA)
  • Royal Opera House
  • Society of London Theatre (SOLT)
  • Theatrical Management Association (TMA)
  • Ms Susanna Everton
  • Mr Nick Williams
  • Ms Alison Wright-Reid