Workplace Noise Assessments

At Northern Safety Ltd we offer workplace noise assessments around Teesside and the North East of England.   Our qualified and experienced Noise Assessor holds a Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Risk Assessment awarded from the Institute of Acoustics and is a Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational Safety & Health.  Using the latest tech of sound meter equipment, cooperation from employees and the expertise of our noise assessor, we are able to offer accurate noise meter readings to establish an average working day, addressing excessive noise levels in your workplace and support your business in implementing effective noise control measures to reduce employees exposure.

By law, as an employer, you must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to noise so that you can protect the hearing of your employees.

Why does my business need a Workplace Noise Assessment?

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 places a duty on employers to ensure that noise exposure levels are reduced to meet the current exposure limits and a specific requirement is placed on employers to ensure health surveillance is conducted.

Northern Safety Ltd’s consultancy service offer:

– Comprehensive noise surveys and assessments by a qualified assessor (Institute of Acoustics Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Assessment).  The assessor will visit your premises to determine noise exposures using appropriate instrumentation, calibration, measurement and analysis techniques.

– Advice on noise control measures and hearing protection requirements

– A management program to address compliance with all aspects of the regulations and good practice

– Training of staff in noise awareness and noise surveying to suit your specific needs

– Occupational health services to support workplaces requiring health surveillance

The noise assessment results will be set out in a written report and recommendations made with regard to the employers’ duties under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.

Did you know?

It is estimated more than 10 million, about 1 in 6 people suffer with a degree of hearing impairment or even deafness within the UK.  Workers that are exposed to noise levels that puts their hearing at risk is over one million.  Meaning an estimated 170,000 people, around 17% as a result of excessive exposure to noise at work suffer hearing loss, tinnitus and other hearing related conditions.

How is Noise measured?

Noise is measured in decibels (dB). An ‘A-weighting’ sometimes written as ‘dB(A)’, is used to measure average noise levels, and a ‘C-weighting’ or ‘dB(C)’, to measure peak, impact or explosive noises. A 3 dB change in noise level doubles the effect of noise, so what might seem like small differences in the numbers can be quite significant.

What are the action levels and limit values for noise?

These relate to the levels of noise exposure to your employees averaged over a working day or week; and the maximum noise (peak sound pressure) to which employees are exposed in a working day.

The values are:

lower exposure action values:

– daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB;
– peak sound pressure of 135 dB;

upper exposure action values:

– daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB;
– peak sound pressure of 137 dB.

There are also levels of noise exposure which must not be exceeded. These are called exposure limit values:

– daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB;
– peak sound pressure of 140 dB.

Do I need to providing health surveillance for employees exposed to noise in the workplace?

If you have employees who are likely to be regularly exposed above the upper exposure action values, or may be at risk for any reason such as currently suffer from hearing loss, if they are particularly sensitive to damage, as an employer you must provide health surveillance / hearing checks.

The purpose of health surveillance is to:

– warn you when employees might be suffering from early signs of hearing damage;
– give you an opportunity to do something to prevent the damage getting worse;
– check that control measures are working.

Consult your safety representatives, or employee representative and the employees concerned before introducing health surveillance.  This is important to ensure employees understand the aim of health surveillance is to protect their hearing.  You will need their understanding and co-operation for health surveillance to be effective.

Do you have a noise problem at work?

Having a noise problem at work will depend on the activities that are carried out and how the noise is and how long employees are exposed to it.  As a simple guide you will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following apply:

– Is the noise intrusive – like a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – for most of the working day?
– Do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day?
– Do your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
– Do you work in a noisy industry, e.g. construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries
– Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators, or guns?
– Noise can also be a safety hazard at work, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear. Some examples of typical noise levels are shown in the graphic.

For further information on noise at work please refer to the HSE website – Noise at work: A brief guide to controlling the risks

For a professional Workplace Noise Assessment in North East England, look no further!

Should you require a Workplace Noise Assessment for your business in Stockton, Middlesbrough and the Teesside area as well as Durham, Newcastle and North East England, call Northern Safety Ltd today.  Simply call our health and safety advisers today!