Assessing the risks of industrial noise

Every employer is responsible for ensuring their employees are safe from things that could harm them. As a result there are many regulations to meet. One of the most important is Control of Noise at Work 2005. This details that employers must take steps to protect employees’ hearing, especially if they work with or around noisy tools and machinery. This is even more important when dealing with industrial noise.

What are the health effects?

Exposure to loud noises can cause temporary and permanent hearing loss. The effects can be sudden or gradual depending on the decibels. It is more common for damage to build up over time because of spending a lot of time in noisy environments.

In addition loud noises can cause tinnitus. The ringing, buzzing or humming can be very hard to live with because it is constant when there is no background noise to drown it out. As a result sufferers can end up having trouble sleeping and being in quiet environments.

Do you have noise at work?

All workplaces will be noisy in one way or another. When the sound reaches harmful decibels it is vital that employees and visitors have the correct hearing protection. You may need to provide this if:

•The noise is intrusive
•Employees need to raise their voices to have a normal conversation
•Power tools or machinery are in use for more than half an hour at a time
•The industry is noisy, including construction, demolition or fabrication
•There are regular loud impact noises
•Explosives are used

Do a risk assessment

If you think noise is a problem in your workplace you should do a risk assessment. This will help to identify sources, exposure and what kind of control measures might be necessary. You may need to install industrial silencers on the noisiest equipment.

Ventx is a leading authority on industrial noise. It is something we have helped a number of clients to deal with. Our highly trained team can provide unique solutions for various needs, including processes in gas and oil production.

Our team is happy to provide more information and recommendations. If you would like our help please feel free to contact us.