Find out about Noise Action Levels and controlling noise at work under the EU Noise at Work Directive with our helpful Noise at Work - Take Action Now infographic.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is one of the most prevalent, but often ignored, risks in the workplace and employees must, by law, be protected. Once NIHL has taken place, it is irreversible. Clearly, prevention is the most sensible option here as, currently, 1 in 7 of the UK population are either dead or hard of hearing.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 is based on the EU Noise Directive and replaced the older Noise at Work Regulations 1989 in the UK. The main differences are in the Noise Action Values which have been reduced by 5 dB. The two updated action values for daily noise exposure have been set at 80dB (A-weighted) (lower action value) and 85dB (A-weighted) (upper action value). There are also two action values for peak noise, these are 135dB (C-weighted) (Lower Action Value) and 137dB (C-weighted) (Upper Action Value). In addition there are new Exposure Limit Values of 87dB (A) and 140dB (C) which take into account the effect of wearing hearing protection and which must not be exceeded; this means if you are wearing hearing PPE and the noise at your ear is 87 dB (A) or over you are exceeding the allowable noise and must adjust the hearing protection until you can bring the person under this level (and preferably under 80dB(A).
This infographic attempts to explain these different values and the decibel (dB) values relating to them. It is aimed at employers and their advisers to provide guidance on how to understand the values and their application in management of noise risks and noise control including the used of hearing protection.
The increasing claims culture dictates that employers much must comply with their legal duties as detailed in the 'Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005' which also now include a specific requirement for health surveillance where there is a risk to hearing health.
Pulsar Instruments™ offers an extensive range of noise measurement products to aid employers with noise assessments and management. We also offer noise consultancy services and training. Why not contact us today about for more information.