The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (the Noise Regulations) dictates the maximum exposure limit values and action values that employers must adhere too in order to adequately protect the hearing of their workers.
Section 4 of the regulations states that the level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is 85 decibels (daily or weekly average exposure) and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers' health and provide them with information and training is 80 decibels. The regulation also details an upper exposure limit value of 87 decibels, which has been designed to take into account any reduction in exposure provided by hearing protection, however workers should not be exposed to anything higher.
Monitors, such as RVT’s Monitex Noise Level Warning System, are designed to give both a visual and audible warnings when noise levels reach a point at which workers should be wearing ear protection. This particular monitor can easily be installed at the start of the project and will continue to monitor and record data for up to 6 weeks (before the data needs to be downloaded).
In section 6, the regulation goes on to state that the employer has a duty to ensure that risk from noise is “either eliminated at source or, where this is not reasonably practicable, reduced to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.” The regulation details a number of ways that this can be achieved, however RVT strongly recommend the use of Acoustic Enclosures.
For more information on Soundex Acoustic Enclosures please click here.
To read ‘The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005’ please click here.
These regulations were brought into effect in 2005, however in 2018, there were still 70 new claims for work related deafness and a further 21,000 reports of work-induced hearing problems; thus highlighting the need for us all to continue raising awareness about the importance of noise control throughout the construction industry.