Hearing loss from engine noise

Our Ref: HSR/1/12
Head Office Circular: NP/267/19
26th November 2019
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


The 2019 National Bus Workers’ Industrial Organising Conference passed the following resolution:

“This National Bus Workers’ Industrial Organising Conference requests that the NEC investigate the effects of engine noise on drivers’ hearing.

Hearing loss may be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, ageing, exposure to noise.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by prolonged exposure to excessive levels of noise, for example in noisy workplaces, this can lead to some damage within the ear structures.

You might not notice the effects of noise-induced hearing loss until years after you were first exposed to loud noise.

Some people experience tinnitus, this is the first sign that their hearing has been damaged by noise. Tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds in your ears or head that don’t have any external source. Constant exposure to engine noise for a long period of time is a factor to hearing loss for bus drivers.

The purpose is to find out the vulnerability of bus drivers due to constant exposure of vehicle-engine noise inside the vehicle cabin.”

This was considered recently by your National Executive Committee, which made the following decision:

“That we note the resolution from our Bus Workers’ industrial Organising Conference and the sentiments therein.

Accordingly we instruct the General Secretary to write to Bus Branches to encourage our members to fill out driver-defect cards, so that vehicles with excessive engine noise and vibration which affects our members can be rectified by the companies and then can be scrutinised by our Reps to ensure that repairs are carried out.”

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members, and encourage them to fill in defect cards as outlined above, and to copy them to their health-and-safety reps in order to facilitate monitoring.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary