You have to make some noise to end it
Pulsar Instruments Plc (25 April 2018) – On International Noise Awareness Day 2018 we’re making some noise about ‘Noise at Work’. “It is time to address the threat that noise poses to our hearing and to our health” says Simon Rehill, General Manager of Pulsar Instruments.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that By 2050, 900 million people could suffer from disabling hearing loss. In the UK alone, research estimates that over 2 million people are exposed to noise levels at work that may be harmful. Continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss, but research shows that even below that threshold, noise instigates physiological changes. Blood pressure elevation, cardiovascular performance, sleep and digestion problems, and other stress-related disorders are all linked to noise.
To mark the occasion of International Noise Awareness Day, Pulsar Instruments is running one of its popular Noise Awareness courses. This course covers everything from basic noise theory and how our ear works, through to why and how to measure and control noise at work. “Delegates find this such a useful course, it really gives people a background into the effects noise has on our hearing, and then helps people identify practical solutions to their noise at work issues” Said Simon “Other companies offer product training only, but our is something special” he commented. Don’t take our word for it though, read our customer testimonials to find out more.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. It is worth noting that employees have duties under the Regulations too. More information and guidance about employers’ duties towards their employees to reduce the risk of noise exposure can be found in our Practical Guide to Controlling noise at work available for free download.
Limiting the exposure of noise to staff
A calibrated, easy to operate, noise or sound level meter such as the Pulsar Model 14, or Pulsar Nova models 41 & 42 from the Pulsar Nova range would be an ideal choice to simplify the task of performing a basic noise assessment of noise levels.
As a crude guide, if you are in an area where the noise is intrusive but normal conversation is possible, this would have a probable noise level of around 80dB(A). If people are working in this environment for 6 hours or more, you would need to carry out a formal noise risk assessment. If you need to shout at someone who is about 2m away and this noise level occurs for 2 or more hours per day, you need to carry out a formal noise risk assessment.
|Level in decibels ‘A’ frequency weighted||Actions required to meet the regulations|
|Areas always < 75dB||Brief risk assessment only – no other action|
|Areas between 75 & 85dB for a proportion of the time||Initial survey using an Leq meter or noise dosemeter|
|Areas where levels are likely to give an 8 hour exposure of 80dB(A) or more.||A full survey with clear identification of levels & corresponding actions; ideally with noise sources listed and personal exposure estimates for all workers likely to be at risk from noise induced hearing loss.|
If you’re concerned about noise in your workplace and you want to find out ideas on how to measure, monitor and control noise at work, then contact Pulsar Instruments, your Noise at Work experts.
To find out more about International Noise Awareness Day visit the Centre for Hearing and Communication.