The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 requires each employer to carry out a noise assessment or noise survey where any employee is likely to be exposed to noise at or above the lower exposure action.
The lower exposure action value is 80dB(A) the upper exposure action value is 85dB(A). A simple rule of thumb to see if you may have a noise problem is to stand about 2m from a person during normal operating conditions: If you have to raise your voice to be heard then you may have a noise problem. EGOS environmental can carry out comprehensive workplace noise monitoring to determine the levels of noise your workers are exposed to and offer advice on noise control measures.
Do you have a workplace noise problem?
This depends on how loud the noise is and how long people are exposed to it. A simple rule of thumb is that you will probably need to do something about the noise if you answer yes to any of the following questions.
Do your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when they are about 2 m apart from each other?
Do your employees operate noisy machinery or power tools for thirty minutes or more each day?
Do you work in a noisy industry, eg construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging, pressing or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries?
Are there noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge operated tools or detonators, or guns?
Noise can also be a safety hazard at work, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear. Some examples of typical noise levels are shown in the graphic.