Noise in the workplace
Is there noise in your workplace? Are your workforce exposed to harmful levels? To find out a little more on the topic have a read through the following:
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations set action and limit values for noise in the workplace.
Action and Limit Value Lower action value a daily or weekly personal noise exposure of, 80 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 135 dB(C) upper action value. A daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 85 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 137 dB(C) exposure limit value. A daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 87 dB(A) and a peak sound pressure of 140 dB(C).
Where noise levels reach the lower action value employers are required to: > Undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment > Make hearing protection available on request > Provide employees and their representatives with information, instruction and training Where noise levels reach the upper action value employers are additionally required to: > Reduce exposure to noise to as low as is reasonably practicable by implementation of a programme of organisational and technical measures > Provide hearing protection where levels cannot be reduced by other means > Define hearing protection zones > Carry out health surveillance (where needed)
HOW SHOULD CONTROL MEASURES BE SELECTED?
The hierarchy of control should always be followed when implementing control measures:
1. Elimination or Substitution
Careful consideration should be given to the source of noise and whether it can be eliminated completely by altering the process used or substituted for something which is less noisy. If this is not possible, or if noise levels remain at harmful levels, engineering controls, the next step in the hierarchy of control should be considered.
2. Engineering Controls
Engineering controls reduce noise at its source or help to prevent its transmission. Examples of engineering controls include: acoustic enclosures, damping, vibration isolation and room treatments.
3. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
If it is still not possible to control noise to a safe level after following the upper levels of the hierarchy of control, PPE should be used as a last resort. PPE may also be used as an interim measure whilst other controls are being implemented.
HEARING PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (HPE)
There are many different types of HPE and it is necessary to give careful consideration to selecting a suitable product to ensure that it is not only able to offer an adequate level of protection, but it is also suitable for both the wearer and the task.
For a range of suitable products visit: