Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Thesis submitted for the award of PhD to Technological University Dublin, 2013.


Due to transposition of the EU Directive 2003/10/EC into Irish Law, the entertainment sector was obligated to comply with the requirements of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007, Chapter 1 Part 5: Control of Noise at Work since February 2008. Despite this, there is a lack of baseline data on the adoption and appreciation of these regulations within the sector. The aim of this study was to conduct an exploratory risk analysis of occupational noise exposure in nightclubs and examine the application of occupational noise legislation in this industry.

Noise risk assessments were conducted in twenty Leinster nightclub/discobars to establish employee noise exposure and their risk of noise-induced hearing impairment. Compliance with the requirements of the Noise Regulations, 2007 and the opinions of the enforcement officers was also examined. Octave band analysis was conducted to select suitable hearing protection for employees. Finally, attitudes towards the use of control measures such as hearing protection, were explored through focus groups and training interventions.

The average nightclub bartenders’ daily noise exposure (LEX, 8h) was 92 dBA, almost four times more than the accepted legal limit. None of the venues examined were fully compliant with the requirements of the 2007 Noise Regulations and awareness of this legislation was limited. Hearing protection was only worn by employees in one venue. The training intervention led to a significant increase in employees’ noise knowledge, but without managements encouragement hearing protection use did not significantly increase.