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Industries Where Noise Assessments Are Needed

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It’s a fascinating question – what do you know that you have to conduct an assessment of the noise level without actually conducting an actual noise assessment?

A noise assessment should be completed by any company that has noise levels that are over 80dB(A)

It is recommended to conduct a thorough noise test if the you believe that the noise level is likely to be between 78 and 79 dB(A) due to natural variations that occur each day.

The part that is regulated is that a risk assessment is required when an employer performs work that could cause employees exposure to sound levels that are over a lower exposure value’. In English this means that when there is a possibility that workers are working in noisy environments with a noise level of around the level of dB(A) or more , the regulation 5(1) requires an assessment of noise to be completed.

The L108 law provides guidance (not the law) that says ‘if you’re in doubt it is better to assume that a noise assessment is required’.

Industries in which noise assessments are required

It can be applied to almost all industries that have any type of manufacturing or production process, but there are more obscure ones in which noise might not at first appear to be a crucial part of the work.

Production of food




Maintenance of the grounds

The education offered by woodworking classes, for instance, music classes

Emergency services


Building ships

Extrusions made of plastic


The conversation test – do you comprehend normal speech?

Most likely, this is how the HSE will decide whether they will examine your noise level – If they visit an office and notice that the noise is disruptive while conversing with others, then it is an indication that the level is about eighty dB(A) and they’ll request to see an assessment.

Information from other sources regarding the levels of noise

Any noise data supplied by the maker of the tool or the equipment that is being employed.

If anyone on your site owns access to an Apple Watch then the built-in noise meter function is quite precise. We’ve tested it for ourselves and have found it to stay within 1.5 to 2 decibels of the actual value. Therefore, let’s say that if the Apple Watch is saying 78dB and it is pushing 80dB, and a noise analysis is required.

A low-cost Type 3 noise meter can be very helpful in this regard as it gives an easy and quick indicator of whether the noise is getting somewhat loud.

Apps for phones

We’d recommend being cautious with these. We’ve tried a lot of them, and when placed together with a class 1 noise meter, these apps for phones are often far from the target. A few of the top ones have the ability to calibrate however, you’ll need to undergo a calibration procedure and even then, they could be quite difficult to calibrate.

If you are unsure, consult us if you don’t need an assessment of the noise

One thing to remember is that if you go through this procedure and decide that a noise test is not required, then note down the process of making a decision, including the people involved, how the process was carried out and the time it was completed. So, when you get the HSE arrive, you will be able to claim ‘yes my Lord Benevolent of Safety we’ve checked to determine if we required the noise assessment, and here’s how and when we conducted it’. If you claim that you have checked , but don’t provide evidence of it, they’ll see a steely glance in their eyes and unleash their fury on you because you are unable to demonstrate that you had done the test and to them , you’ve most likely just overlooked the issue.

Be aware that if there’s any evidence or documentation of what was done, the event didn’t occur. It’s always better do the right thing, and achieved an outcome that they don’t agree with than be considered not tried even once.