Applying the hierarchy of hazard control to regulation of sound levels in entertainment venues

Elizabeth Francis Beach*, Robert Cowan, Johannes Mulder, Ian O'Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Excessive sound levels at events where amplified music is a central element pose a risk to hearing. Whereas noise exposure in the workplace has been recognized as a hazard for over a century, the potential harm resulting from recreational sound exposure has only become apparent in recent years. In occupational settings where sound levels are high, employers are required to implement risk-mitigation strategies to reduce sound exposure and protect employees in accordance with the hierarchy of controls. In principle, this same risk management approach can be applied to entertainment venues. In this paper we discuss how the measures stipulated in various policies and regulations aimed at protecting the hearing of audience members at entertainment venues fit within the hierarchy of controls. We compare the relative likely effectiveness of each of the measures and outline how the particular characteristics of entertainment venues impact on the practical application of these measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-349
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Noise
  • Noise and leisure
  • Risk management

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