Music in the workplace – need a licence?


Music in the workplace: PRS and PPL explained.

The Forum of Private Business has issued a warning to make sure you don’t get caught out by music in the workplace regulators. The cost of music in the workplace has long been a bone of contention for business owners. Many small businesses thought that by purchasing a licence from PRS for Music they had fully complied with copyright legislation. However, this may not be the case as you may also need a licence from the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).

Don’t fall foul of the Noise at Work Regulations with advice from The Forum of Private Business (FPB).

Failure to keep the noise down could cost smaller businesses dearly, with introduction of the Noise at Work Regulationsl. Pubs and clubs, garages, warehouses, music stores and other noisy workplaces could find themselves hit with a huge tribunal claim from any employee who has suffered hearing loss. In this hot tip, we put our ear to the ground to serve up the best advice for avoiding a costly claim. And with claims potentially costing upwards of £10,000, it is well worth following these simple steps if you think your business could be affected: Inform workers Workers should be aware of the potential risks associated with Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and the precautions taken by the business to minimise the risk. Stop at source If at all possible, stop the noise at source (or use some form of insulation to smother the noise).

This will act as a better long-term, and potentially cheaper, control than providing all staff with protective equipment. Carry out an assessment Contact an occupational hygienist or noise specialist to carry out an assessment of the working environment. This should then be repeated whenever circumstances change, for instance if new, noisy equipment is introduced. It may also be worth introducing audiometric screening for new recruits, this will act as a reference as to their level of hearing and could help prevent false claims. Provide protection Any employee exposed to high levels of noise should be provided with protective equipment, for example ear protectors. They must also be trained in the use of this equipment. The business should also ensure that the equipment is stored correctly and that there is sufficient supply.

Keep records Signed records should be kept to show that employees have been trained, information circulated and protective equipment purchased. As with all such things, having an identifiable paper trail showing the actions you took to minimise the risk to employees, will help greatly should the business ever face a claim for damages.



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