Excessive noise can cause damage to hearing, leading to permanent damage over a period of time. This may compromise safety as it affects communication and is also a distraction.
Noise in the workplace is controlled by legislation that requires employers to protect people’s hearing who are affected by noise at work. At a certain level, this requires the use of hearing protection and health surveillance (regular hearing tests - audiometry).
Employers must provide health surveillance (hearing checks / audiometry) for:
employees regularly exposed above the upper exposure action values (daily or weekly exposure of 85dB or peak sound pressure of 135dB)
employees who are at risk, for example those who already suffer from some degree of hearing loss.
Noise-induced Hearing loss is IRREVERSABLE. Click here to find out more about the effects of hearing loss:
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If your workplace is intrinsically noisy, i.e. it is significantly noisier than you would expect from the sounds of everyday life, it is possible that the noise levels will exceed 80 dB. If you are exposed to this level for more than 6 hours a day, a noise assessment of the workplace is required (ref HSE publication L108 Controlling Noise at Work).
As a rule of thumb, if you cannot hear a normal conversation in your workplace clearly when you are 2 m away from the speaker, the noise level is likely to be around 85 dB(A) or higher. If you are exposed to this level for more than 2 hours a day, a noise assessment of the workplace will be needed.
If you cannot hear someone clearly when you are about 1 m away, the level is likely to be around 90 dB(A) or higher. If you are exposed to this level for more than 45 minutes a day, a noise assessment of the workplace must be carried out.
A noise assessment is needed at these levels regardless of the source of the noise, for example being exposed to 2 hours of 85 dB(A) noise from a machine will cause the same damage to a person’s hearing as if the noise came from a radio or people talking.
We have qualified and competent consultants with calibrated equipment to ensure accuracy for your Noise Assessment and ensure compliance with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
All our Noise Assessments include an in-depth Report of our findings with an Action Plan for improvement. We can also provide Audiometry testing on site (dependent on certain conditions) or at our offices in Horwich at a competitive price.