Thursday, November 17, 2005


Clubs across the European Union will become a slightly quieter place to be in the new year with the introduction of new noise regulations. Sort of. Westminster Health and Safety Department are touring London venues to prepare them for the new safe noise levels - although they have got until February 2008 to comply with the new regulations.

One club they visited had dance floor levels at 104 decibels; the new limit will see legal action being triggered at 85dBA.


karl said...

*Slightly* quieter? the decibel (dB) scale is logarithmic, so 104 dB is actually several times louder than 85 dB, rather than, say 25% or so louder as you may think. I assume that Big Black are unlikely to be playing the HSE Christmas party this year...
I'm all for informing the public about the dangers they face listening to loud noises for extended periods of time, but is this exercise really necessary? Employers already have a duty of care to protect their staff from excessive noise (I saw Bob Mould at the Mean Fiddler recently, and one of the bar staff was wearing ear plugs).

Anonymous said...

Actually, the extent to which the state has ignored this issue is a major concern.

Frankly, between the potential for deafness, and risk of being crushed, gigs are generally a lot more risky that football ever was. Why we've never had our own version of the Taylor report baffles me.

simon h b said...

Karl - the 104 dB club was an exception, and already breaking the current levels: I think the current legal maximum is closer to 89. And this pretty much is part of the current duty of care that employers owe their employees - the limit isn't restricted to the nightclub industry; it's cross-industry. It's a lowering of the limit of acceptable noise.

And anonymous, I'd guess the reason we've never had a Taylor report is that we've been lucky enough not to have had a Big Day Out or Roskilde type tragedy in the UK yet. Legislation in public safety tends to accompany the sound of a door slamming behind an exiting horse.

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