Noise At Work Regulation Testing & Assessments Carried Out By Dynamic Response

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HSE Noise At Work Regulations 2005 Workplaced Testing, Monitoring And Assessments

Noise At Work Regulations 2005, Workplaced Health And Safety Testing/Assessments

The ‘2005 Noise At Work Regulations’ are a mandatory requirement aimed at protecting employees hearing whilst at work. The noise at work regulations use exposure limit and action values which employers should take into account which are as follows;

• The lower exposure action values are; a daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 80 dB (A-weighted); and a peak sound pressure of 135 dB (C-weighted).

• The upper exposure action values are; a daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 85 dB (A-weighted); and a peak sound pressure of 137 dB (C-weighted).

• The exposure limit values are; a daily or weekly personal noise exposure of 87 dB (A-weighted); and a peak sound pressure of 140 dB (C-weighted).

The levels outlined above form the requirements for employees working a typical working day/week and noise exposure should be assessed in terms of the LEP,d or LEP,w

Noise At Work Noise Exposure

The daily or weekly noise exposure level LEP,d or LEP,w is calculated from the measured noise level taken at the operatives ear (LAeq) based on the amount of time an operative would be exposed to the noise. In addition the “Peak” sound pressure level (LCPeak) is also measured.

Below the lower exposure level, there should be no risk to the employees from noise, and no further action is usually taken. When employees noise exposure becomes above the lower action value level, but below the upper action value level, hearing protection must be provided to any employee if requested, whilst if the employee’s noise exposure is above the upper action value level, hearing protection is considered mandatory, and should be enforced by management.

In accordance with the Health And Safety Executive, ‘The Control Of Noise At Work Regulations’ (2005), “The employer shall ensure that the risk from the exposure of his employees to noise is either eliminated at source or, where this is not reasonably practicable reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable”, excluding the use of hearing protection.” This means that noise from a tool, process or task etc., should be reduced before providing hearing protection to employees, over just providing to ear plugs etc., to staff as a matter of due course.

If a risk to any employee is identified, the employer shall also ensure that such employees are placed under suitable health surveillance, for example audiometric testing etc.

As a company, you may think that as perhaps your tool provider has given you a noise level of the tool which is below 80 dB(A), that your employees are protected from noise? It must be remembered that more often than not, manufacturer noise levels are based on a laboratory test result i.e. not a real life situation, with tool load applied. For example, an angle grinder could be laboratory tested on free run with a solid metal disc, slightly un-balanced but not cutting anything, when we would contest that it should be tested with a grinding wheel fitted, whilst grinding a material it is intended to be used with, as otherwise, the noise levels will appear acceptable when in reality, they could result in an employees noise exposure LEP,d or LEP,w being very different , and even at detriment to the employees health.

We have a large range of experience in carrying our noise at work risk assessments inline with the current ‘Noise At Work Regulations 2005’ for clients including well known food manufacturing companies, waste disposal sites, FMCG production facilities, entertainment venues, marine vessels, carpenters, joiners, fabrication/production engineers, grounds maintenance, facilities management, gardeners and more. The list goes on and on.

We aim to carry out all types of occupational noise at work assessments. What ever your requirement regarding noise at work surveys and risk assessments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dynamic Response, run by humans, to help humans, protect humans . . . Health And Safety Matters


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