Noise Risk Assessment

noise risk assessment

The 'Control of Noise at Work Regulations' - 2005, requires employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work starting with a noise assessment.

Many employees in the United Kingdom are exposed to unacceptable high noise levels that may be harmful in both the short and the long term.

Do I have a Noise problem in my workplace? You will probably need to do something about the noise if any of the following situations apply:

  • The noise is intrusive – for example, as noisy as a busy road, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded public house, for most of the working day
  • Your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2 m apart for at least part of the day
  • Your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day
  • Your sector is one known to have noisy tasks, eg construction, demolition or road repair, woodworking, plastics processing, engineering, textile manufacture, general fabrication, forging or stamping, paper or board making, canning or bottling, foundries, waste and recycling
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health

The ‘Control of Noise at Work’ Regulations 2005 (Noise Regulations 2005) requires employers to prevent or reduce risks from exposure of noise at work. Employees have duties under the Regulations too.

As the employer, the Regulations require you to:

  • Assess the risks to your employees from noise at work
  • Implement control measures to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks
  • Provide your employees with suitable hearing protection if you cannot reduce the noise exposure enough by using other methods
  • Ensure that the legal limit of noise exposure is not exceeded
  • Provide your employees with up-to-date information, instruction and training
  • Carry out health surveillance where there is a risk to health

You must record the findings of your noise risk assessment. You must also record the action you have taken, or intend to take, to comply with the law.

You should review your noise risk assessment if circumstances change or if it is no longer valid, for example if the work changes and this affects workers’ noise exposure, or there are changes to the availability, applicability or cost of noise-control measures.

The Noise Regulations also require you to take specific actions at certain action values. These relate to: the levels of exposure to noise of your employees averaged over a working day or week; and the maximum noise (peak sound pressure) to which employees are exposed in a working day.

The noise risk assessment values are:

Lower (1st) action values
  • Daily or weekly exposure of 80 dB
  • Peak sound pressure of 135 dB
Actions to be taken
  • Inform, instruct, train employees
  • Provide hearing protection on request
  • Maintain equipment provided to reduce risk/exposures
  • Ensure its use
Upper (2st) action values
  • Daily or weekly exposure of 85 dB
  • Peak sound pressure of 137 dB
Actions to be taken
  • All duties as at lower (1st) action values
  • Reduce exposure by a programme of technical/organisational measures
  • Provide hearing protection to all exposed – ensure it is used
  • Provide health surveillance

Meeting these requirements will ensure that you do not expose your employees to potential hearing loss from excessive noise and that they work in a safer environment.

Use S.H.E Global’s downloadable Noise Risk Assessment form to complete a noise assessment in areas of concern… and these can then be made site specific and used to implement suitable control measures. If you require your logo and/or company name inserted simply contact us and we will revise them at no extra cost.