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When Should A Noise Assessment Be Conducted?

For all industries, the law requires employers who plans to do tasks that could expose workers to noise levels that are excessive, to conduct an assessment of risk that describes the ways in which this could impact the safety and health of workers. The assessment must also include the steps that must be taken to ensure that noise levels are in line with the regulations.

Employers must offer hearing protection, as well as hearing protection zones when you are in a noisy area with a decibel level of 85 and above.

The threshold at which risk assessments have to be conducted is 80 decibels. Workers should not be exposed to sound levels higher than 87 decibels. This takes into account the reduction offered through hearing protection. Employees must also undergo regular hearing tests in the event that they are frequently exposed to sounds higher that 85 decibels. If you’ve identified noise-producing activities that could cause your workers or anyone else in the workplace to noise that is hazardous, or sound, and you cannot reduce exposures to less than the threshold immediately it is important to assess the risk by conducting an assessment of noise.

A noise assessment can help you:

Find out which workers who are at the risk of losing their hearing
Find out what sources of noise and processes are creating that danger
Determine if and what type of noise-control measures could be put in place
Verify the effectiveness of the current controls.

A noise assessment does not require a test. It is for instance, if one task at work that is the use of one machine that produces noise levels of 85 dB(A) and the maker has provided details about the noise levels of the machine when it’s operated in specific ways, then an adequate assessment is possible without measuring. In more complex scenarios, it is possible to require measurements to determine accurately the extent to which a worker is exposed to noise, like work environments with different levels of noise during a shift or jobs where employees move in the noise zones.

Who is qualified to conduct the test?

A noise evaluation must be conducted by a qualified person. The more complicated the issue is, the more educated and experienced the person has to be. A skilled person is one with accurate noise measuring equipment as well as, through education and knowledge and experience:

Knows the requirements of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Knows how to verify the operation of the instruments
Knows how to make the measures correctly
Are you able to interpret the results of noise measurements?

What should be reported in an assessment of noise?

The reports of the noise assessment should demonstrate how the test was conducted properly and that all aspects were considered. The reports on noise assessment are used to determine the appropriate control measures to ensure that the hearing of employees in a safe range and the major findings should be made part of the education for everyone working. These reports should be available to managers as well as health and safety representatives as well as regulators.

We have trained risk assessors available to visit your location to perform the risk assessment needed to help ensure that your employees are hearing secure.