Managing noise risks
Noise safety at work covers a multitude of overlapping and interlinked sins including noise assessments (sometimes called noise surveys), noise reduction measures, audiometry / health surveillance, noise training and selection and use of hearing protection.
Noise assessment is the foundation of it all and is an important part of managing employee risks in many organisations, including the obvious areas such as engineering, construction or the food industry, but also the less obvious such as hospitals, schools and shipping. Noise assessments however are not the most exciting of thing to be reading about so well done you for persevering as far as the end of the second paragraph already. That's proper dedication to your cause and as a reward the noise assessment section of the site has a bucket-load of information for you on how to arrange assessments, what they should cover, how to do them, what a consultant should be providing, and so on.
Just what you need to get you out of bed with a spring in your step in a morning, a whole section dedicated to the Noise Regulations. Contain yourselves. This gives a plain-english guide to the Noise Regs, including a simple overview of all the main requirements and then nice straight-forward interpretation of what it means.
Noise assessments are the most important step in helping you comply with the Regs, decide which areas are problematic, what hearing protection is needed, etc. On these pages you'll find information on what a noise assessment should look like or should contain and importantly, what it should not be bothered with.
This gives you a straight-forward guide on how to choose hearing protection, from the simplest to most technical methods. It also goes into what types to choose and why the most expensive or the most powerful are not always the best. More excitingly, a list of 200+ types of available protector and their performance data.
If you are filled with a particularly deep sense of self-loathing and are thinking about doing a noise assessment yourself then this site should point you in the right direction, including what to measure or what noise meters to buy or rent, while if you are thinking of getting a geek in to do the assessment for you then the information here should tell you what you need and what to ask for so you have some knowledge of the right questions to ask.
There is also a section on noise training so if you are putting an in-house course together this will outline what you need to include in it and the Hearing Loss Demo can help in getting across to employees what hearing losses due to noise sound like. Or there is a template of a Managing Noise Policy / Procedure which you can download and use.
There is no sales element and the site is not selling any services - it's just a kindly website imparting noise-related information like a benevolent noise-obsessed Yoda for anyone to read, digest and use as they wish.
One thing to be clear about before we go any further, this is all about noise at work. If you are looking for environmental noise (covering things like nuisance noise, noise for planning applications, etc.) then that is totally different and is not covered here. Sorry, I have let you down. It's also probably worth pointing out this is UK-related noise information so for anyone looking at it from Americaland there is nothing here for you, move along now, this is all about your colonial masters. If you are looking for something specific then the search box at the bottom of each page may be your friend.
FAQing loads of info including:
- Noise assessments versus noise surveys
- Types vs classes
- Plugs or defenders
- Fork lift driver exemptions