What has that got to do with me? Our machines and activities are quiet, we haven’t had an issue in the past and we’ve had no complaints!?
The aim of a noise assessment is to identify what noise is being produced, who is exposed and to what extent, to identify your current controls and give advice on improvements that can be made with regards to better protection, improvements in reducing noise and any training requirements where needed. An assessment can also suggest persons who may need to be placed on health surveillance with regards to industrial noise. Our recommendation is that your workplace is noise assessed every two to three years. This would give you comfort that you know the work activities and the machinery you control meet current legislation and that you are not putting any of your workforce at risk from a hearing injury.
A further benefit of this assessment is that you would have solid evidence and a better understanding of how much noise your plant and equipment emits and if your workers are undertaking multiple tasks, they are still within exposure limits during their shift. You can then make a judgement, with our help, whether you need to do something further.
ProAktive have trained personnel and suitable equipment that will allow us to measure noise for your specific activities which will show how much noise the individual is hearing. It will also allow us to calculate the employee’s daily exposure levels and we would use this information to give you feedback including if actions are needed to keep these people healthy and safe.
Our noise equipment is also ‘octave band enabled’ which shows the frequencies of the noises recorded. Again, we will analyse this information so we can give you feedback on how effective your existing personal protective equipment (PPE) is; are you overcompensating for noise levels? Do you need to provide better protection?
Once all data is gathered, we can offer professional advice for possible production of a ‘noise map’ or hearing protection zones for work areas, reducing noise levels or suggestions for other types of hearing protection more suitable for the employees work environment.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005:
- Noise less than 80dB(A): Monitor levels. Should not cause health issue to individuals as is less than the lower exposure action value.
- Noise over 80dB(A) but not exceeding 85: Employer must assess the risk to health of workers and provide them with training and information. Hearing protection should be made available to operatives if they wish to wear it. Reduce levels where possible.
- Noise 0ver 85dB(A): Reduce noise in the work environment where possible and Employer to provide and train operatives to wear PPE.
- Peak levels: 137 dB(C) never exceeding 140: Noise levels calculated over an 8hr reference period.
Noise assessments carried out can be used as evidence of the controls used by your company to meet current legislation and to protect your workforce.
We are available to address any issues you may have. For a conversation regarding noise in your workplace, contact our Health and Safety Team on 01302 341 344.
By Richard Wadkin CMIOSH – Risk Consultant