|Acoustic Testing Services
Noise at Work
Occupational noise exposure (noise at work)
- Do you or your company need a noise at work assessment to be undertaken?
Noise at work is usually assessed in terms of the noise exposure that
is received by employees. Exposure is a combination of the noise level
that a person is exposed to and the duration over which the exposure occurs.
In order to determine an employee’s exposure, it is therefore necessary
to establish their work pattern, how long they spend in different areas
or engaged in different activities and the levels of noise that they are
exposed to, if not monitored properly operatives hearing can be damaged.
To try and reduce noise exposure, it is necessary to reduce the level/s
of noise, the duration of exposure, or both. The most preferable method
of reducing exposure is the reduction of noise at source. This has the
benefit of protecting everyone who may be in the vicinity of the noise
source and can also alleviate the need for personal hearing protection.
It is also possible to reduce the duration of exposure by revising job
rotations and ensuring that employees spend the minimum time possible
in noisy environments.
As a last resort, Personal Hearing Protection (PHP) can be used. Click
here for a description of typical types of PHP available.
In the United Kingdom, occupational noise exposure is legislated by the
Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which are based on European Directive
2003/10/EC. These superseded the Noise at Work Regulations, 1999 on 6
April 2006. The main changes are as follows:
• the two action values for daily noise exposure have been reduced
by 5 dB to 85 dB and 80 dB;
• there are now two action values for peak noise at 135 dB and 137
• there are new exposure limit values of 87 dB (daily exposure)
and 140 dB (peak noise) which take into account the effect of wearing
hearing protection and which must not be exceeded;
• there is a specific requirement to provide health surveillance
where there is a risk to health.
Click here for a summary of the requirements of the Noise at Work Regulations
2005 which will open in a new window.
A full copy of the Noise at Work regulations is available on the Office
of Public Sector Information website.
APT has extensive experience of assessing and providing recommendations
for occupational noise exposure and we have undertaken studies ranging
from a single employee operating a single machine to large numbers of
employees working in factories, construction sites, petrochemical and
We have detailed knowledge of many different industries, noisy equipment
and activities and can provide detailed solutions to noise control. On
large sites and premises, our approach is to consider the exposure of
the entire work force and this allows a detailed cost/benefit analysis
of various options to be undertaken. This approach can be complemented
by the use of Dosimeters, where appropriate.
We can also determine which employees should wear Personal Hearing Protection
(PHP) and assess the types of PHP available. We can also instruct both
employers and employees in the risks associated with noise exposure and
the correct use of PHP.
All our assessments are carried out by competent staff. In the United
Kingdom, we base our assessment and recommendations on the industry-sector
guidance used by HSE inspectors and industry best practice.
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