Noise at Work
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) came into force for all industry sectors in Great Britain on 6 April 2006 (except for the music and entertainment sectors where they came into force on 6 April 2008).
The aim of the Noise Regulations is to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise at their place of work, which could cause them to lose their hearing and/or to suffer from tinnitus (permanent ringing in the ears).
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 replace the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.
To comply with the Noise at Work Regulations every employer must take steps to protect their employees, initially by undertaking a workplace noise assessment.
By law, as an employer, you must assess and identify measures to eliminate or reduce risks from exposure to noise so that you can protect the hearing of your employees. Where the risks are low, the actions you take may be simple and inexpensive, but where the risks are high, you should manage them using a prioritised noise-control action plan.
Whether you have a noise problem in the workplace will depend on how loud the noise is and how long people are exposed to it. Is the noise intrusive for most of the working day? For any part of their working day do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation with a colleague just 2m away? Do your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery each day? Do they work in a noisy industry, (e.g. construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries)? Are there noises due to impacts (e.g. hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc.), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators, or guns?
Noise can also be a safety hazard at work, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear.
Many consultants will only assess the noise exposure of your employees. The approach that Dragonfly Consulting takes is different. We assess the needs of your business AND your employees, and provide you with a solution that is tailored to your workplace and its particular noise issue. We ensure that, where required, hearing protection is provided and used, engineering controls are properly and appropriately implemented, and information, training and health surveillance advice is provided.
If you would like more information about our Noise At Work assessment services please contact us to discuss your requirements.