Noise at Work Risk Assessment
To abide by the Control of Noise at Work Regulations, a risk assessment must be completed by an employer for determining the risk level in the workplace. An assessment of risk assessment for noise at work will perceive how employees are at risk, from what areas e.g. the actual processes or machines where noise is a problem, how their intention is to protect employees from probable damage and how it will be monitored and implemented.
It is stated in the regulations that action is needed if exposure to personal noise is more than 80 dB or if there is exposure of employers to loud and intermittent noises of greater than 135 dB. The signs typically in a workplace that could have noise issue include the noise level being intrusive such as for being heard people have to raise their voices, usage of noisy power tools or machinery in a day for more than half an hour or working in noisy industries like engineering or construction. There may not be a problem in few workplaces except from particular locations like plant and server rooms.
For completing a noise risk assessment number of suggested steps can be followed:
– Determine the existence of varied types of noise
– Take a dB reading of the areas involved
– Determine who may be exposed to the noise
– Identify the steps that have to be taken for controlling noise exposure
– Evaluate how staff are affected e.g. probable exposure to the noise level and document working patterns
– Provide information and training on the risks involved
– Consider surveillance of health and decide on how frequently to test employees
– Record the risk assessment so that review can be done on it
– Decide who will be answerable and the timescales involved
– After taking all other measures provide protection equipment
– Review the risk assessment. This will usually be there at least every year however more if there is an introduction of new equipment
External assistance may be required for assessing risk for noise at work for measuring dB levels in your workplace; however buying a sound meter will cost less than £100 and are simple for operating. If you are unsure about noise being an issue, testing the sound level is worthwhile for knowing surely. If the levels of noise are less than 80 dB action level, formal action is not required but offering protection maybe sensible so that at least staff have the option of using it or not e.g. ear plugs outside plant or server rooms.
Assessing risk for noise at work should not be an activity hard to complete, however the actions required for reducing the workplace noise might not be very easy to implement.