Noise or sound energy is created when air is mechanically disturbed leading to small changes in atmospheric pressure, which radiate in the form of waves. Repeated exposure or continued exposure to excessively high sound levels can result in irreversible damage. Specialist equipment may be required to measure sound levels in the workplace.
• Sound level exposure must not exceed 85 dB(A) on average per 8 hour day and, where possible, should be kept below an average of 85 dB(A) per 8 hour day. Where shifts longer than 8 hours are worked, the exposure level must be appropriately reduced.
• Peak sound pressure levels must not exceed 140 dB(lin).
Sound technicians will be instructed through a training program on how to control the decibel levels during performances.
• Nuisance noise such as high pitch, unexpected or distracting noises must be minimised. To do this, we will employ the following strategies:
• Use of personal hearing protectors in overly loud areas (backstage, next to speakers). People have difficulty wearing them in certain environments and where communication is important. Sometimes, however, personal hearing protectors are the only reasonable option.
When choosing hearing protectors, the pitch (frequency) of the noise must be taken into account. Different types of protective equipment have maximum dampening effects in certain frequency ranges. In order to encourage the use of hearing protectors, personal preferences in comfort must be taken into account. Different types of ear protectors should therefore be made available.
Hearing protectors should also be made available to the audience on request
Use appropriately placed signs to remind staff that it is a ‘hearing protection area’ and audience that hearing protectors are available to them.
• The hearing of all musicians should be monitored and annual testing is recommended;
• A designated separate room should be allocated for brass musicians to warm-up;
• Practicing and/or warm-ups should not be permitted in band rooms; and
• Weekly and seasonal exposure of players to high sound levels will be limited by monitoring and rostering with respect to predicted daily and weekly average sound levels.
• Some people may be susceptible to hearing damage at or below 85dB(A) and special consideration should be given to their circumstances, eg. Regular hearing tests, use of hearing protection.
• Where a player finds the sound level uncomfortable they should seek assistance and the following measures should be considered: rearranging seating; providing sound screens; providing earplugs.
Moving speakers to increase the distance between the performers and staff
Orientate the stage to direct less noise towards staff
Headsets must be appropriate and compatible; otherwise damage can result from feedback.