OCCUPATIONAL

   INFORMATION   

Our vast experience ranges from food producers, manufactures of all sorts, financial institutions and government agencies, to multi-national service industries. We have literally been on land, at sea and in the air.
Empowering managers with the understanding of the risks imposed from noise & vibration exposure is the basis of our occupational assessments. 

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Overview


Simply put; occupational noise and vibration is a serious risk to any business and their employees.
Employees are protected from elevated noise and excessive vibration at work by Regulations.
It’s a major issue and employers are required to undertake an assessment of risks




Rick Assessment


The preferred method of assessing this risk is by undertaking a workplace survey.
This risk assessment will allow the company to formulate an action plan to reduce employee’s exposure, as required by the Regulations.
The Regulations require appropriate assessment and analysis of levels within the workplace and evidence that steps have been taken to prevent and reduce exposure to noise risks.




Solution


We assess and manage the risk for you.
Get the noise levels assessed in your workplace with our Noise & Vibration Risk Assessments Services.
We make sure that our clients fully comply with the necessary occupational noise and occupation vibration standards.




Background


Thousands of workplaces expose employees to significant yet preventable noise levels, so call us today to ensure you are compliant with your legal requirements.
The Regulations outline how employers need to prevent and manage excessive noise in the workplace, so it is important you ensure the measures you have in place are compliant.




Experience


We have a proven history of undertaking surveys and assessments to the highest standards across all industrial sectors and throughout the country. Our consultants are fully competent and recognised by the Institute of Acoustics. They will conduct a site survey to establish the noise levels that your workforce is exposed to. The consultant will undertake an analysis of the noise hazards and establish if the lower and upper exposure action values are being exceeded.
The personal daily dose will be predicted, and measures will be identified to mitigate or eliminate the risk, control the noise exposure and protect your employees. These could include noise control hardware, hearing protection and operational controls.




The Report


As we’re managing the risk on our clients’ behalf, we present the findings in a manner that is clear and concise so that they can get on with their business.
You will receive a technical report presenting:

  • The results
  • The recommendations
  • The mitigation measures
Discussions will typically include appropriate control measures, suitable hearing protection, hearing protection zones and health surveillance.
“We’ll outline the employer’s duties and how to comply with the Regulations.”




Noise Maps


Uniquely, we like to present noise levels as a colour contour maps when possible. This allow for easy communication to employees and management of noise levels and hearing protection zones. It also provides easy ‘what-if?’ scenarios to be assessed e.g. if shift patterns were altered or newer machines installed.
Some clients even use the software to update the noise maps themselves to keep the risk assessment up to date.




Do I need an Assessment?


Occupation noise assessments must be undertaken if employees are likely to be exposed to noise at or above the lower noise exposure action values.
As a simple guide you will likely require a noise at work assessment if any of the following apply:

  • Do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day?
  • Is the noise intrusive for most of the working day? Examples could include exposure to noise from a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant.
  • Do your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
  • Do you work in a noisy industry? For example:
    • construction
    • demolition or road repair
    • manufacture
    • engineering
    • fabrication
    • forging, pressing or stamping
    • paper or board making
    • canning or bottling
    • entertainment
  • Is there noise due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators?




What do the Regulations require you to do?


The Regulations require an employer to:

  • Assess the risks to your employees from noise and vibration at work;
  • Take action to reduce the exposure that produces those risks;
  • Provide your employees with hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods;
  • Make sure the legal limits on noise and vibration exposure are not exceeded;
  • Provide your employees with information, instruction and training;
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health.

The Regulations do not apply to:
  • members of the public exposed to noise from their non-work activities;
  • low-level noise that is a nuisance but causes no risk of hearing damage.




What are the Action Levels and Limit Values?


First Action Level: 80dBA
The employer must (in addition to reducing noise levels by general action) inform each potentially affected worker and their representatives of the following:

  • measurement results and the possible risk to their hearing
  • advise of mitigation measures to reduce the levels
  • the advisability of wearing hearing protection and provide same
  • hearing checks that are available and results of preventative audiometric testing
  • provide any necessary information and where relevant training
Second Action Level: 85dBA
The employer must also:
  • Identify the reasons for the excess noise and put in place a programme to reduce it.
  • Provide hearing checks and audiometric testing.
  • Put up clearly visible and legible signs indicating that the noise level in the area is likely to exceed 85dBA.




What are the health effects of Noise at Work?


Simply put; noise at work can cause hearing loss that can be temporary or permanent. Exposure to short periods of high levels can lead to a temporary loss e.g. when leaving a music venue but this should not be ignored. Prolonged exposure to moderate levels of noise can lead to gradual hearing loss. It may only be when damage caused by noise over the years combines with hearing loss due to ageing that the problem may be noticed. It is then that people may question how loud their workplace noise levels were and therefore it’s important for employers to deal with any risks.
Permanent hearing damage can be caused immediately by sudden, extremely loud, explosive noises e.g. from guns or cartridge-operated machines.
People may develop tinnitus (ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in the ears), a distressing condition which can lead to disturbed sleep.




How to Control the Risks from Noise?


The Regulations require a noise control programme to reduce the risk.
Hearing projectors is an obvious noise control measure, but their use is not always practicable or welcome by employees. Operational adjustments may yield a significant reduction in the exposure of employees to excessive noise e.g. sharing tasks, ensuring those with already compromised hearing loss (confirmed by audiometric testing) are further protected etc.
A noise control strategy should look to reduce the noise levels and thus the risks. Some key considerations include:

  • Identify control noise options, assessed the likely reduction and the practicalities.
  • Establish priorities for short- and long-term measures. Consider the number of people exposed to the noise in each case.
  • Assign responsibilities to deliver the strategy.
  • Ensure the work on noise control is done and check its effectiveness.




How can the Noise be Reduced?


Noise levels can be reduced as can exposure time to the noise – usually a combination of both approaches work best.
The noise may be reduced at source, during the transmission or by deploying hearing protectors. Some considerations may be:

  • Use quieter processes or equipment.
  • Ensure regular maintenance of machinery.
  • Introduce engineering controls:
    • Avoid metal-on-metal impacts
    • Damped vibrating machine panels
    • Fit anti-vibration mounts or flexible couplings to isolate vibrating machinery
    • Fit silencers to air exhausts and blowing nozzles.
  • Erect enclosures around machines.
  • Use barriers and screens to block the direct path of sound.
  • Position noise sources further away from workers.
  • Use absorptive materials within the building to reduce reflected sound e.g. ceiling baffles.
  • Limit the time spent in noisy areas.
  • Share tasks so that one worker doesn’t have all the exposure.





(c) Enfonic Ltd 2021