Noise assessment report content

So you've plumped for The Noise Chap for a noise assessment, (and may we be the first to congratulate you on this wise choice) but what do you get in response to this superb decision?

The noise assessment report you will receive has a few sections.

Noise assessment report: management summary

We all know senior managers like to have things in short summary format because they are so busy it has to be in quick easily-digestible chunks. (Far be it from us to suggest that in reality this is because they can't concentrate on anything longer than a two-line sentence before their mind flicks back to the golf course or that lovely long lunch they have planned, oh no..). The Management Summary is limited to one page and lists the key findings of the report - things like the most important noise levels, some of the more important engineering or organisational controls identified as being possible, areas where hearing protection must be used, suitability of hearing protection, and a general statement of risk level for the site. This is intended as being suitable for distribution to management teams and safety committees. 

Noise assessment report: Introduction

This is a couple of pages covering some of the most important bits of information and background requirements on which the noise assessment is built. So a very simple one-page summary of what is required at various key noise levels and then a couple of very important principles such as a 3dB change being a doubling of the energy of a noise. I appreciate H&S people will already know this but we do a lot of reports for non-H&S people so flagging up things such as the principle that 93dB(A) is twice as dangerous as 90dB(A) is important to know before looking at the noise assessment results obtained for the site in question.

There is also a bit about hearing damage and hearing protection, confirming that employees cannot sign disclaimers absolving employers of responsibility if they choose not to wear hearing protection, and things like that. This is included as it comes up quite often and can be useful for employers if they can point to it in the noise assessment report as confirmation that it can't be done.

Noise assessment report: the noise assessment technique

How the noise assessment was done, including the types of equipment used to do it and its calibration. There is also some explanation of when wearable and hand-held noise meters are used and how long-terms average exposure levels are calculated. This is included for both the noise report's recipient and also so they have the information should anyone else within the company, their insurer or the HSE ask them about it.

Noise assessment report: Workplace information and results

This is a big chunky bit containing each of the separate noise measurements made. It starts with a guide to how to interpret the results the report contains, then each result. 

 Noise assessment report table of results for a job

Each result follows the same format with a description of the job, equipment or person, the noise levels measured, whether the daily limits were met or exceeded and then any other comments or specific recommendations for that job regarding potential noise control measures.

Where useful for explaining the result, an exposure chart may be included and annotated as necessary.

 Noise exposure chart on noise assessment

This is the largest section of the noise assessment report and will include measurements made with the hand-held noise meter and also those obtained with wearable noise meters, in this case Pulsar doseBadges. The actual layout and content of this section changes with the needs of any specific site and is not an automatically-generated document, but is written specifically for the site in question.

Noise assessment report: hearing protection

The assessment report then includes an analysis of the current hearing protection in use on the site. This takes some representative jobs and runs calculations of the effectiveness of the hearing protectors in use to calculate the expected exposure experienced under them by their users. 

A selection of alternative styles is also included, along with the assumed exposure which would be experienced by the wearer, so the client has a pool of protectors from which a choice can be made should a change of supplier or style be desired in the future.

Noise assessment report: comments, recommendations and review

This is the longer version of some of the information included in the Management Summary and results sections. Where there are possibilities for reducing or controlling noise exposures via things like engineering controls or changes to the way the organisation works then these will be detailed included here.

This will also look at recommendations for softer control measures such as training or health surveillance.

It will also set out the recommended review period for the noise assessment, and importantly gives information on how the client can do this in-house to avoid the cost of getting a consultant in every time.

Noise assessment report: glossary

While the report is written to be as non-technical and approachable as possible, some terminology inevitably slips in and this section gives nice clear explanations of all the dB(A), Leq, etc gubbins.

Noise assessment report: calibration certificates

Rather than just telling you the noise meters used have been calibrated, we include copies of the calibration certificates in the report which can be handy for showing people such as insurers or visiting Health and Safety Executive Uber-Fuhrer types.

Noise assessment report: competence certificates

And the final bit of the report is copies of the competence certificates for the person undertaking the report, again so it can be shown to insurers or HSE warlords if needed.