Most workplaces create noise of some description. They must therefore be checked to ensure that this noise is within safe levels. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 require employers to check noise levels through a risk assessment and then to reduce exposure where noise is at a level of 80 decibels (dB(A)) or more. If you need to shout to be heard when standing 1 metre away from someone else, this is a sign that noise is intrusive – and therefore putting people at a very real risk of permanent hearing damage. Very high noise exposure for short periods or repeated noise at lower levels, but still above 80dB(A) can damage hearing over time. This is known as noise induced hearing loss (NIHL). By the time the affected person notices that their hearing is not as good as it was, damage is considerable and cannot be reversed.
We can help by conducting a ‘Noise at Work’ survey, using specialist instruments called noise dosimeters. Our occupational hygienists carry out the survey by making relevant observations, assessing the situation and detailing where control is required. We outline measures that you will need to undertake in order to achieve control and provide information for you to complete your noise risk assessment. This will aim to minimise the risk of hearing damage to your employees.