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How Noise Assessments Can Help You

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For all industries, the law requires employers who plans to do tasks that could expose workers to noise levels that are excessive, to conduct an assessment of the risk and outline the ways in which this could impact the health and safety of employees. It should also outline the steps that must be implemented to ensure that noise levels comply with the regulations.

Employers must offer hearing protection, as well as hearing protection zones in the event that you are in a noisy area with a decibel level of 85 or higher.

The minimum level where risk assessments need to be conducted is 80 decibels. Workers should not be exposed to sound levels higher than 87 decibels. This takes into account the reduction offered through hearing protection. Workers should also undergo regular hearing tests when they are exposed to levels of sound greater that 85 decibels. If you’ve noticed any noise-producing activities that could cause your workers or others in the workplace to noise that is hazardous, or sound, and you cannot reduce the exposure to below the minimum it is important to assess the potential risks by performing an assessment of the noise.

A noise assessment can assist you:

Find out which workers are most at the risk of losing their hearing
Find out what sources of noise and processes may be causing the danger
Find out if and what kind of noise control measures can be put in place
Examine the effectiveness of current controls.

A noise assessment does not necessarily require a measurement. For instance, if one thing in the workplace that is the use of a particular machine – generates noise that is greater than 85 dB(A) and the maker has provided details about the noise levels of the machine when it is used in certain manners, then a valid assessment could be conducted without the need for measurement. In more complex scenarios, it is possible to require the use of measurement in order to precisely determine the extent to which a worker is exposed to noise, for instance work environments with different levels of noise throughout the day and work that require workers to move into the noise zones.

Who will be able to make the test?

An assessment of noise must be conducted by a qualified person. The more complicated the scenario is, the more educated and skilled the individual needs to be. A skilled person is one with precise calibrated noise measuring devices as well as, through education and knowledge and experience:

Knows the requirements of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Knows how to assess the operation of the instruments
Knows how to take proper measurements
Are you able to interpret the results of noise measurements?

What details should be included in an assessment of noise?

The reports of the noise assessment should demonstrate whether the evaluation was conducted properly and that all aspects were considered. The reports on noise assessment are used to determine the appropriate control measures to keep the hearing of employees maintained at an acceptable level and the major findings should be included in the training of all employees. These reports should be available to managers as well as health and safety representatives, and regulatory authorities.

We have risk assessors who are qualified available to visit your location to perform an assessment of risk and assist to keep your employees’ hearing secure.