Noise Action Levels
Loud noise is an occasional part of everyday life. Permanent hearing damage results when the noise is too high, for too long, too often. The risk from noise at work is indicated by the daily personal noise exposure level or LEP,d. This is the total noise dose in the working day. This may be made up of periods at different sound levels but it is expressed as the equivalent steady level that would give the same dose in eight hours.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations give action and limit values for the above risks which are trigger points for action to protect employees. The action values take no account of hearing protection use, but the limit values do take account of the attenuation of any hearing protection used.
Avoid reducing below 70dB
It's also worth noting that every 3dB of noise doubles the risk due to the way noise is measured using a logarithmic scale.
Actions required when the action values are exceeded
Actions when at and above the lower action value
- Make a noise risk assessment.
- Provide staff training on the risks and how to keep safe.
- Implement controls to reduce the level and duration of exposures.
- Consult with staff on workplace changes.
- Make hearing protection available.
Actions when at and above the upper action value
- Produce an action plan of control measures that details
the how, when and who is responsible.
- Mark out areas where exposures are likely to exceed the
upper action values as hearing protection zones. Hearing
protection must be worn in these zones.
- Provide regular health surveillance to employees at risk
(this would usually include everyone regularly exposed
above the upper action value).
Correct fitting of ear plugs is paramount; follow our top tips to fitting ear plugs to achieve the level of protection stated on the product
Follow our top tips on fitting ear defenders to ensure the best level of protection and compatibility with other personal protective equipment
There are many benefits of investing in communication solutions including better productivity, improved safety and improved efficiency
Custom Moulded Ear Plugs
Ever wondered how custom moulded ear plugs are manufactured, follow the journey from the ear impression to the final custom moulded hearing protection
If noise is becoming a problem, as part of your legal obligation you will need to complete a noise risk assessment to remove, reduce or control the exposure.
Our training and consultancy team are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain full health, safety and environmental compliance. With their breadth of knowledge, industrial and technical experience plus a sensible risk management approach they provide realistic and practical solutions to resolve problematic issues with clear and simple advice.
Measuring noise levels in the workplace to ensure employees noise exposure is kept to a minimum is an important part of any hearing conservation programme. Noise measurement helps to identify areas where noise is a problem and employees who may be affected. It also helps to ensure the protection levels are maintained, we recommend this is monitored regularly to make sure you are compliant with the Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
Ear plugs fit into the ear or cover the ear canal to form a seal. Ear plugs are suited for use with safety glasses and other forms of personal protective equipment where compatibility may be an issue.
Ear defenders fit over and surround the ears with a cushioned seal. The inner surface of the cups provides the hearing protection with a sound absorbing material.
Working in high noise environments can make communicating with others more difficult, prompting the need for the person to either completely remove their ear defender or to lift a cup of the defender to hold a conversation with someone.
For some, this may not seem to be an issue, however the overall impact of this action could in fact reduce the effectiveness of the hearing protection during the working day.
White Paper: Benefits of Fit Testing Hearing Protection
By Brad Witt, MA, Director of Hearing Conservation, Howard Leight by Honeywell
Whilst many work environments supply hearing protection to their workers very few check that the protection provided is being worn correctly. Incorrect fitting of hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs can leave the wearer in a position where they are not receiving any protection at all, or in some cases are worse off.
This white paper has been written by a leading audiologist to outline the myths surrounding hearing protection against noise induced hearing loss, how to select the right levels of protection and to explore how and why not all hearing protection devices fit everyone and therefore why it is imperative to ensure that your workforce is properly fit-tested.
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