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Overview of laws and regulations aimed at protecting the hearing of patrons within entertainment venues

Beach, E.F., Mulder, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0258-624X, O’Brien, I. and Cowan, R. (2020) Overview of laws and regulations aimed at protecting the hearing of patrons within entertainment venues. European Journal of Public Health, 31 (1). pp. 227-233.

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Recreational noise—specifically loud music experienced at music venues—has been recognized as a hazard for hearing damage and associated pathologies such as tinnitus. In Europe and other countries around the world, there is a range of regulatory and legislative approaches to managing the sound levels and minimizing the risk of hearing damage for those attending music venues. It is important to have an understanding of these different approaches to inform the development of future regulations and legislation.


In December 2018, an online search of legislative instruments was conducted, and we identified 18 items that were aimed at protecting the hearing of people attending entertainment venues.


Twelve documents were from European jurisdictions and the remainder were from cities or states of North and South America. The regulatory measures included in the documents ranged from sound level limitations, real-time sound exposure monitoring, mandatory supply of protective devices, requirements for signage and warnings, loudspeaker placement restrictions and the provision of ‘quiet spaces’.


European countries are well advanced in terms of providing legislation and other regulatory documents aimed at protecting people at entertainment venues when compared with the rest of the world. Future research is required to assess the effectiveness of these regulatory measures in reducing the risk associated with sound exposure at music venues.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Publisher: Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association
Copyright: © 2021 Oxford University Press
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