Could you prove noise exposure levels are within the legal limits?

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As a business owner, if you were asked, could you prove that the noise levels generated in your factory are within the legal limits?  In most cases, it will not be sufficient to say that your employees are not at risk from exposure to noise.  You need to demonstrate readily to others who have an interest such as safety representatives and enforcement authorities (e.g. the HSE) that you have considered and taken the relevant action under the current legislation.  Failure to provide the right documentation may result in a non-compliance.

If you are unsure about the noise exposure legal limits, have a look at these articles to help you out:

The HSE is one thing but often, a company may become vulnerable and open to civil actions by employees against noise-induced hearing loss. One claim may be followed by others in the same department thus adding to the overall cost to the business.  If an employer is found to be in breach of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) he/she may be liable to pay compensation (between £3,000 and £5,000+) to an individual suffering from either minor hearing loss and/or tinnitus with additional payments to cover legal representation.  For any insured costs, you are likely to claim also on your Employers and Public Liability Insurance which will result in higher premiums.  Clearly, this is not worth the risk.  Prevention is always better than cure.

In the UK, 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. As an employer, the Regulations require you to:

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

The Noise Regulations also specify action levels at which the hearing of employees must be protected. The conclusion as to whether any of those levels has been breached is reached after an assessment of noise levels has been made.

Why not download our Free Employers' Guide to Controlling Noise at Work here for some background research?

Once you have researched the Regulations and you are ready to start with noise measurements, you will need to identify the right equipment to help you get the noise data you need, record what is happening and assist you in making the right decision to comply with the law. Professional sound level meters such as the Pulsar Nova help you assess noise issues and safeguard your workers’ hearing.

A Nova sound level meter from Pulsar Instrument is the ideal tool to:

  • Conduct compliant, accurate noise measurements
  • Capture and record the noise data you need to report back on
  • Ensure the legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded
  • Protect your business against noise-induced hearing loss claims
  • Meet Employers’ duty to reduce risk
If you have any doubts or would like to talk to someone about noise measurement and monitoring options in further detail, please ring our team of friendly advisors on 01723 518011 and we will be happy to guide you.  We can even come to you and demonstrate our range in your factory so that you can assess our products and our experts face to face.  Don’t forget to download your FREE guide to controlling workplace noise here!