Noise regulations in the workplace concern the noise a worker is exposed to as part of his or her employment. The protection of workers from occupational noise exposure is currently governed by the noise regulations both in the UK and Ireland. This sets a limit for acceptable noise levels in industrial circumstances and requires noisy areas to be marked.
Environmental Efficiency have qualified experts who measure workplace noise and can undertake these assessments respecting the noise regulations for you. We can also advise you on the correct ear protection.
Noise regulations: Effects of workplace noise
Noise at work can lead to significant loss of quality of life for workers according to the noise regulations. Exposure to loud noise may cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus, (which is a sensation of noises such as ringing or buzzing in the ears). This may leave employers vulnerable to compensation claims. Unless the site has good records to show that it has managed noise and taken all reasonable steps to eliminate noise respecting noise regulations, then it can leave itself open to litigation.
Workplace noise impact assessment
The first step an employer can undertake is a workplace noise impact assessment. An occupational noise assessment will take noise measurements at all locations or activities where staff are at risk. All locations where noise levels are in breach of the various thresholds will be identified. Legislation requires that areas where noise at work exceeds 80 dBA and 85 dBA should be signposted. Environmental Efficiency will be able to undertake the noise impact assessment and identify these areas.
Environmental Efficiency is able to undertake assessments of noise at work using sophisticated noise meters and staff trained by the Institute of Acoustics.
Noise protection equipment
Where noise protection equipment is to be used, e.g. ear muffs, the correct rating level will be determined according to noise regulations (it can be dangerous to have over protection as workers will become unaware of their surroundings).
Besides ear protection, other measures may include limiting the time workers are exposed or changing processes.