Noise protectors/ear muffs

Noise Testing

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) requires employers to reduce the impact of noise on their employees. In addition, there is also a requirement to carry out a noise risk assessment to identify and, if necessary, rectify high noise levels.

The noise regulations prescribe two levels, or Exposure Action Values:

  • The Lower Exposure Action Value of 80dB(A) is the point at which an area should be designated as a “Noise Hazard Zone” where operatives and visitors are advised to wear hearing protection
  • The Upper Exposure Action Value of 85dB(A) is the point at which an area should be designated as a “Hearing Protection Zone” where operatives and visitors must wear suitable hearing protection
Your risk assessment should:
  • Identify where there may be a risk from noise and who is likely to be affected
  • Contain a reliable estimate of your employees' exposures, and compare the exposure with the exposure action values and limit values
  • Identify what you need to do to comply with the law, eg whether noise-control measures or hearing protection are needed, and, if so, where and what type; and
  • Identify any employees who need to be provided with health surveillance and whether any are at particular risk.
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