Why is it important for employers & workers to understand what the exposure of noise can do?
The ‘Noise At Work Regulations’ were introduced in 1990 and revised in 2005 with ‘The Control of Noise at Work Regulations’. They are aimed at protecting the hearing of employees and state exactly what is required from the employer and employee. If excessive noise levels exist in the workplace, the potential danger can only be controlled effectively if the noise levels are assessed and control measures are put in place.
The employer is expected to have the noise assessed with daily personal exposure levels (LEP,d) quoted to determine if the Exposure Limit Values are being exceeded. If you have to raise your voice in speaking to a colleague only one metre away, a noise assessment is recommended. Should the noise exposure reach any of the Exposure or Peak Limit Values, then the following steps will need to be undertaken:
- The noise level should be controlled, either at source or in the transmission path
- Suitable ear protection should be provided
- "Ear Protection Zones" should be marked
- Training should be provided to affected employees
Acoustic Associates can help employers control the risks associated with high noise levels in industrial environments, by:
- Assessing noise exposure according to the Regulations
- Recommending methods of reducing noise exposure
- Specifying programmes for controlling the risks
- Identifying suitable hearing protectors
- Training, incorporating HSE literature