Controlling noise at work

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1 Health ad Safety Cotrollig oise at work The Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios 2005 Guidace o Regulatios This is a free-to-dowload, web-friedly versio of L108, (Secod editio, published 2005). This versio has bee adapted for olie use from HSE s curret prited versio. You ca buy the book at ad most good bookshops. ISBN Price This ew editio of L108 provides guidace for employers o protectig people from the risks caused by oise at work. As well as settig out the legal obligatios of employers uder the ew Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios 2005, it itroduces a revised approach to the maagemet ad cotrol of oise i the workplace. The mai parts of the book, aimed at employers ad their advisers, provide guidace o the assessmet ad maagemet of oise risks, practical advice o oise cotrol, buyig ad hirig of quieter tools ad machiery, selectio ad use of hearig protectio ad the developmet of health surveillace procedures. The various appedices set out advice aimed at providers of techical advice ad services to the employer, as well as settig out the legal duties o maufacturers ad suppliers of oisy machiery. HSE Books Page 1 of 130

2 Health ad Safety Crow copyright 2005 First published 1998 Secod editio 2005 Reprited 2006 ISBN All rights reserved. No part of this publicatio may be reproduced, stored i a retrieval system, or trasmitted i ay form or by ay meas (electroic, mechaical, photocopyig, recordig or otherwise) without the prior writte permissio of the copyright ower. Applicatios for reproductio should be made i writig to: The Office of Public Sector Iformatio, Iformatio Policy Team, Kew, Richmod, Surrey TW9 4DU or This guidace is issued by the Health ad Safety. Followig the guidace is ot compulsory ad you are free to take other actio. But if you do follow the guidace you will ormally be doig eough to comply with the law. Health ad safety ispectors seek to secure compliace with the law ad may refer to this guidace as illustratig good practice. Page 2 of 130

3 Health ad Safety Cotets Itroductio 4 Part 1 Legal duties of employers 7 Regulatio 1 Citatio ad commecemet 7 Regulatio 2 Iterpretatio 7 Regulatio 3 Applicatio 8 Regulatio 4 Exposure limit values ad actio values 10 Regulatio 5 Assessmet of the risk to health ad safety created by exposure to oise at the workplace 12 Regulatio 6 Elimiatio or cotrol of exposure to oise at the workplace 18 Regulatio 7 Hearig protectio 22 Regulatio 8 Maiteace ad use of equipmet 25 Regulatio 9 Health surveillace 27 Regulatio 10 Iformatio, istructio ad traiig 29 Regulatio 11 Exemptio certificates from hearig protectio 31 Regulatio 12 Exemptio certificates for emergecy services 32 Regulatio 13 Exemptios relatig to the Miistry of Defece 32 Regulatio 14 Extesio outside Great Britai 32 Regulatio 15 Revocatios, amedmets ad savigs 33 Schedule 1 Part 1: Daily persoal oise exposure levels 34 Part 2: Weekly persoal oise exposure levels 34 Schedule 2 Peak soud pressure level 35 Schedule 3 Revocatios 35 Part 2 Maagig oise risks: Assessmet ad plaig for cotrol 36 Part 3 Practical oise cotrol 50 Part 4 Selectig quieter tools ad machiery 68 Part 5 Hearig protectio: Selectio, use, care ad maiteace 73 Part 6 Health surveillace for hearig damage 84 Appedix 1 Measurig oise exposure i the workplace 87 Appedix 2 Peak soud pressures 98 Appedix 3 Predictig the atteuatio provided by hearig protectio 101 Appedix 4 Duties of maufacturers ad suppliers of machiery 105 Appedix 5 Audiometric testig programmes 109 Appedix 6 Sample documets 119 Refereces 127 Further iformatio 130 Cotrollig oise at workt Page 3 of 130

4 Health ad Safety Itroductio 1 Hearig damage caused by exposure to oise at work is permaet ad icurable. Research estimates that over 2 millio people are exposed to oise levels at work that may be harmful. There are may ew cases of people receivig compesatio for hearig damage each year, through both civil claims ad the Govermet disability beefit scheme, with cosiderable costs to idustry, society ad, most importatly, the people who suffer the disability. 2 Hearig loss is usually gradual due to prologed exposure to oise. It may oly be whe damage caused by oise over the years combies with ormal hearig loss due to ageig that people realise how deaf they have become. Hearig damage ca also be caused immediately by sudde, extremely loud oises. Exposure to oise ca also cause tiitus, which is a sesatio of oises i the ears such as rigig or buzzig. Tiitus may occur i combiatio with hearig loss. 3 These coditios are etirely prevetable if: (a) (b) (c) employers take actio to reduce exposure to oise ad provide persoal hearig protectio ad health surveillace to employees; maufacturers desig tools ad machiery to operate more quietly; ad employees make use of the persoal hearig protectio or other cotrol measures supplied. The Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios The Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios 2005 (the Noise Regulatios) are based o a Europea Uio Directive* requirig similar basic laws throughout the Uio o protectig workers from the risks caused by oise. They do ot apply to members of the public exposed to oise from their o-work activities, or makig a iformed choice to go to oisy places. They replace the Noise at Work Regulatios 1989, which have bee i force sice The duties i the Noise Regulatios are i additio to the geeral duties set out i the Health ad Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (the HSW Act). These geeral duties exted to the safeguardig of the health ad safety of people who are ot your employees, such as studets, volutary workers, visitors ad members of the public. Employees also have duties uder the HSW Act to take care of their ow health ad safety ad that of others whom their work may affect; ad to co-operate with employers so that they may comply with health ad safety legislatio. 6 The mai differeces from the 1989 Noise Regulatios are: (a) (b) (c) (d) the two actio values for daily oise exposure have bee reduced by 5 db to 85 db ad 80 db; there are ow two actio values for peak oise at 135 db ad 137 db; there are ew exposure limit values of 87 db (daily exposure) ad 140 db (peak oise) which take ito accout the effect of wearig hearig protectio ad which must ot be exceeded; there is a specific requiremet to provide health surveillace where there is a risk to health. * Coucil ad Parliamet Directive 2003/10/EC of 6 February 2003 o the miimum health ad safety requiremets regardig the exposure of workers to the risks arisig from physical agets (oise). Cotrollig oise at work Page 4 of 130

5 Health ad Safety About this book 7 This book replaces the 1998 editio of L108 (ISBN ). It is primarily aimed at employers. Part 1 icludes the Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios 2005 together with guidace o what they mea. It sets out your legal obligatios as a employer to cotrol risks to workers health ad safety from oise. 8 Parts 2-6 iclude more detailed advice o how to assess risks, practical oise cotrol, how to select ad use hearig protectio, what to cosider whe buyig ad hirig equipmet, ad how to develop health surveillace procedures. 9 Appedix 4 is for ayoe ivolved i maufacturig or supplyig machiery for use at work. It also refers to work equipmet legislatio as it applies to oise. 10 The other detailed Appedices are icluded for those who provide the employer with competet advice ad services. 11 The Health ad Safety (HSE) has also published a free leaflet for employers INDG362(rev1) 1 which cotais advice o how to comply with the Noise Regulatios, as well as a pocket card for employees INDG363(rev1). 2 HSE also publishes guidace o oise cotrol i specific idustrial sectors ad for particular types of machie. You ca obtai iformatio o these publicatios from HSE s Ifolie (see Further iformatio ) or the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk/oise). 12 HSE will periodically review this book. If you have ay commets o it, please write to the Noise ad Vibratio Programme Uit, Health ad Safety, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, Lodo SE1 9HS. Cotrollig oise at work Page 5 of 130

6 Health ad Safety Maagig oise risks Assess the risks Idetify oise hazards Estimate likely exposure to oise Idetify measures required to elimiate or reduce risks, cotrol exposures ad protect employees Make a record of what you will do i a actio pla Protect your employees Elimiate or cotrol oise risks Elimiate or reduce risks usig good practice ad kow cotrol ad maagemet solutios For the higher-risk cases, pla ad put i place techical ad orgaisatioal oise-cotrol measures Make sure the legal limits o oise exposure are ot exceeded Ad provide hearig protectio Protect your employees with hearig protectio Make its use madatory for the high-risk cases (keep workig o techical ad orgaisatioal cotrol measures) Maage the use of hearig protectio with zoes, istructio ad supervisio Worker iformatio ad traiig Cosult workers ad allow their participatio Give employees iformatio, istructio ad traiig about the risks, cotrol measures, hearig protectio ad safe workig practices Health surveillace Provide health surveillace (hearig checks) for those at risk Use the results to review cotrols ad further protect idividuals Employees co-operate ad atted for hearig checks Maitai ad use the equipmet Maitai ay oise-cotrol equipmet ad hearig protectio Esure that aythig supplied is fully ad properly used Employees use the cotrols provided ad report ay defects Employees use hearig protectio where its use is madatory Review what you are doig Review as thigs chage: Chages i work practices Chages i oise exposures New ways to reduce risks Key Employer actios Employee actios Cotrollig oise at work Page 6 of 130

7 Health ad Safety PART 1: LEGAL DUTIES OF EMPLOYERS TO PREVENT DAMAGE TO HEARING Regulatio Regulatio 1 Citatio ad commecemet These Regulatios may be cited as the Cotrol of Noise at Work Regulatios 2005 ad shall come ito force o 6th April 2006, except that 1 (a) (b) for the music ad etertaimet sectors oly they shall ot come ito force util 6th April 2008; ad subject to regulatio 3(4), regulatio 6(4) shall ot come ito force i relatio to the master ad crew of a seagoig ship util 6th April Guidace 1 Trasitioal periods 13 Regulatio 1(a) defers the applicatio of the Noise Regulatios i the music ad etertaimet sectors util 6 April Util this date the Noise at Work Regulatios 1989 will cotiue to apply (see regulatio 15(3)). This two-year trasitioal period applies to all workplaces where live music is played or where recorded music is played i a restaurat, bar, public house, disco or ightclub, or alogside live music or a live dramatic or dace performace. Specific guidace o the practical measures that ca be take i these workplaces will be issued before the trasitioal period expires. If you are a employer i the music ad etertaimet sectors you should remember that uder the 1989 Regulatios there is a duty to reduce the risk of hearig damage to your employees to the lowest level reasoably practicable as well as other duties related to actio levels you still eed to take actio to protect workers i those sectors from risks from oise. 14 Regulatio 1(b) defers util 6 April 2011 applicatio of the exposure limit values oly (regulatio 6(4)) for the master ad crew of a sea-goig ship (also see paragraph 24). Regulatio Regulatio 2 Iterpretatio (1) I these Regulatios daily persoal oise exposure meas the level of daily persoal oise exposure of a employee as ascertaied i accordace with Schedule 1 Part 1, takig accout of the level of oise ad the duratio of exposure ad coverig all oise; emergecy services iclude (a) (b) police, fire, rescue ad ambulace services; Her Majesty s Coastguard; eforcig authority meas the or local authority, determied i accordace with the provisios of the Health ad Safety (Eforcig Authority) Regulatios 1998; (a) the meas the Health ad Safety ; 2 (a) SI 1998/494, as ameded by SI 1999/3232, SI 1999/2024, SI 2002/2675 ad SI 2004/3168. Cotrollig oise at work Page 7 of 130

8 Health ad Safety Regulatio exposure limit value meas the level of daily or weekly persoal oise exposure or of peak soud pressure set out i regulatio 4 which must ot be exceeded; health surveillace meas assessmet of the state of health of a employee, as related to exposure to oise; lower exposure actio value meas the lower of the two levels of daily or weekly persoal oise exposure or of peak soud pressure set out i regulatio 4 which, if reached or exceeded, require specified actio to be take to reduce risk; the music ad etertaimet sectors mea all workplaces where (a) (b) live music is played; or recorded music is played i a restaurat, bar, public house, discotheque or ightclub, or alogside live music or a live dramatic or dace performace; oise meas ay audible soud; peak soud pressure meas the maximum soud pressure to which a employee is exposed, ascertaied i accordace with Schedule 2; risk assessmet meas the assessmet of risk required by regulatio 5; upper exposure actio value meas the higher of the two levels of daily or weekly persoal oise exposure or of peak soud pressure set out i regulatio 4 which, if reached or exceeded, require specified actio to be take to reduce risk; weekly persoal oise exposure meas the level of weekly persoal oise exposure as ascertaied i accordace with Schedule 1 Part 2, takig accout of the level of oise ad the duratio of exposure ad coverig all oise; ad workig day meas a daily workig period, irrespective of the time of day whe it begis or eds, ad of whether it begis or eds o the same caledar day. 2 (2) I these Regulatios, a referece to a employee beig exposed to oise is a referece to the exposure of that employee to oise which arises while he is at work, or arises out of or i coectio with his work. Regulatio Regulatio 3 Applicatio (1) These Regulatios shall have effect with a view to protectig persos agaist risk to their health ad safety arisig from exposure to oise at work. (2) Where a duty is placed by these Regulatios o a employer i respect of his employees, the employer shall, so far as is reasoably practicable, be uder a like duty i respect of ay other perso at work who may be affected by the work carried out by the employer except that the duties of the employer 3 (a) (b) uder regulatio 9 (health surveillace) shall ot exted to persos who are ot his employees; ad uder regulatio 10 (iformatio, istructio ad traiig) shall ot exted to persos who are ot his employees, uless those persos are preset at the workplace where the work is beig carried out. Cotrollig oise at work Page 8 of 130

9 Health ad Safety Regulatio 3 Guidace (3) These Regulatios shall apply to a self-employed perso as they apply to a employer ad a employee ad as if that self-employed perso were both a employer ad a employee, except that regulatio 9 shall ot apply to a selfemployed perso. (4) These Regulatios shall ot apply to the master or crew of a ship or to the employer of such persos i respect of the ormal shipboard activities of a ship s crew which are carried out solely by the crew uder the directio of the master, ad for the purposes of this paragraph ship icludes every descriptio of vessel used i avigatio, other tha a ship formig part of Her Majesty s Navy. Purpose 15 The Noise Regulatios are desiged to protect agaist risks to both health ad safety from exposure to oise the health risk of hearig damage i those exposed, ad safety risks such as the oise affectig the ability to hear istructios or warigs. People who are ot your employees 16 Sometimes your activities may cause employees of other employers to be exposed to oise, eg where cotractors take oisy tools ito quiet premises to do their job, or they go to do a quiet job i premises that are already oisy. Regulatio 3(2) places duties o all the employers ivolved ad each will have a resposibility: (a) (b) to their ow employees; ad so far as is reasoably practicable, to ay other perso at work who is affected by the work they do. 17 This resposibility applies to all the duties uder the Noise Regulatios except health surveillace (regulatio 9), which you do ot have to provide for ayoe other tha your ow employees, while you oly eed to provide iformatio, istructio ad traiig (regulatio 10) to the employees of others i relatio to the specific job they are doig for you. 18 I most cases employers will eed to exchage iformatio ad collaborate to esure they fulfil their duties without cofusio or uecessary duplicatio. O multi-cotractor sites they will usually eed to agree o who is to co-ordiate actio to comply with health ad safety requiremets; this will ormally be the perso i overall cotrol of the work. This perso should make sure that resposibilities for cotrollig risks are clearly defied. For example it will ofte be appropriate for the employer i overall cotrol to make sure that risks are assessed ad that the iformatio o oise is made available to all affected employers, while the actual employer of each worker provides ay traiig eeded. 19 Where cotractors ad sub-cotractors are ivolved it is usually best for resposibilities to be set out i the cotractual arragemets. For costructio projects, the pricipal cotractor uder the Costructio (Desig ad Maagemet) Regulatios 1994 (as ameded) 3 should esure co-operatio betwee all cotractors If you are i charge of premises you should make sure that visitig workers, icludig cotractors, kow i which areas they should use hearig protectio ad kow how to obtai it. You may wish to iclude this iformatio i iductio iformatio for ew staff ad/or i geeral traiig. Cotrollig oise at work Page 9 of 130

10 Health ad Safety Guidace 21 If your employees eed to visit premises cotrolled by someoe else (eg for maiteace or survey work) you will eed to cosider whether exposure over the exposure actio values is likely, ad what ca reasoably be doe to cotrol it (eg by providig hearig protectio adequate for the worst likely exposure). Employees should co-operate with their employers so far as this is ecessary so that employers ca meet their obligatios. The self-employed 22 Regulatio 3(3) defies both employer ad employee to iclude selfemployed people. So if you are self-employed you will eed to take actio as set out i the Noise Regulatios to protect yourself from oise risks. Although selfemployed people are ot required to provide themselves with health surveillace i accordace with regulatio 9, it is recommeded that they follow the guidace i Part 6 ad, where appropriate, cosult a occupatioal health service provider. This will esure that early sigs of hearig loss are idetified ad will allow risks to be reviewed ad revised as ecessary. Traiees 23 The Health ad Safety (Traiig for Employmet) Regulatios require traiees o relevat work traiig schemes i the workplace (but ot those o courses at educatioal establishmets such as uiversities or schools) to be treated as the employee of the perso whose udertakig is providig the traiig. Your duties towards traiees will iclude all the requiremets of the Noise Regulatios icludig assessmet ad cotrol of risks, provisio of health surveillace, provisio of iformatio, istructio ad traiig ad cosideratio of whether ay traiees might be at particular risk. Applicatio to ships, other vessels ad aircraft 24 Regulatio 3(4) states that the Noise Regulatios do ot apply to the master ad crew of a ship. This refers to work doe by the crew uder the cotrol of the ship s master whe the ship is uder way or work doe by them i harbour whe o shore-based workers are ivolved. However, i the future, similar regulatios admiistered by the Maritime ad Coastguard Agecy will apply to all vessels i UK waters ad to UK-registered vessels i iteratioal waters. The Noise Regulatios do apply to work takig place i ships, boats ad other vessels operated by Her Majesty s Navy ad to work o ay vessel carried out alogside shore workers whe it is moored or i dock The Noise Regulatios apply to aircraft i flight over British soil. Regulatio Regulatio 4 Exposure limit values ad actio values (1) The lower exposure actio values are (a) (b) a daily or weekly persoal oise exposure of 80 db (A-weighted); ad a peak soud pressure of 135 db (C-weighted). (2) The upper exposure actio values are 4 (a) (b) a daily or weekly persoal oise exposure of 85 db (A-weighted); ad a peak soud pressure of 137 db (C-weighted). Cotrollig oise at work Page 10 of 130

11 Health ad Safety Regulatio (3) The exposure limit values are (a) (b) a daily or weekly persoal oise exposure of 87 db (A-weighted); ad a peak soud pressure of 140 db (C-weighted). (4) Where the exposure of a employee to oise varies markedly from day to day, a employer may use weekly persoal oise exposure i place of daily persoal oise exposure for the purpose of compliace with these Regulatios. 4 Guidace (5) I applyig the exposure limit values i paragraph (3), but ot i applyig the lower ad upper exposure actio values i paragraphs (1) ad (2), accout shall be take of the protectio give to the employee by ay persoal hearig protectors provided by the employer i accordace with regulatio 7(2). 26 The exposure actio values are the levels of exposure to oise at which you are required to take certai actios (see regulatios 5, 6, 7, 9 ad 10). The exposure limit values are the levels of oise above which a employee may ot be exposed (see regulatio 6(4)). Your risk assessmet (see regulatio 5) should iclude a assessmet of the likely oise exposure of your employees for compariso with these exposure actio ad exposure limit values. A formula for calculatig daily exposure is show i Schedule 1 Part 1 ad for peak soud pressure i Schedule 2 to the Noise Regulatios. Weekly exposure 27 Regulatio 4(4) allows you to calculate exposures over a week rather tha over a day i circumstaces where oise exposure varies markedly from day to day. The formula for calculatig weekly exposure is show i Schedule 1 Part 2 to the Noise Regulatios. 28 Use of weekly exposure might be appropriate i situatios where oise exposure varies markedly from day to day, eg where people use oisy power tools o oe day i the week but ot o others. It is oly likely to be appropriate where daily oise exposure o oe or two workig days i a week is at least 5 db higher tha the other days, or the workig week comprises three or fewer days of exposure. 29 Whe cosiderig whether to use weekly averagig it is importat to: (a) (b) (c) esure there is o icrease i risk to health. It would ot, for example, be acceptable to expose workers to very high oise levels o a sigle day without providig them with hearig protectio. There is a overridig requiremet to reduce risk to as low a level as is reasoably practicable (regulatio 6(1)); cosult the workers cocered ad their safety or employee represetatives o whether weekly averagig is appropriate; explai to workers the purpose ad possible effects of weekly averagig. Takig accout of hearig protectio 30 Note that the requiremets i the Noise Regulatios relatig to assessmet of risk ad exposure, actios to take to reduce risk ad exposure, ad the levels at which they are required to be take, do ot allow you to take accout of the reductio of oise provided by wearig hearig protectio Regulatio 4(5) explais that the oly exceptio whe this reductio ca be take ito accout is i relatio to the exposure limit values (regulatio 6(4)). The reductio is likely to be a estimate based o the iformatio provided by the Cotrollig oise at work Page 11 of 130

12 Health ad Safety Guidace 4 maufacturer of the particular hearig protectio device used (see Appedix 3 for further iformatio). Whether the exposure limit values are complied with will deped, ot oly o the reductio provided by the hearig protectors, but also o whether the hearig protectio is i good workig order, is appropriate for the type of oise ad is properly wor. Regulatio Regulatio 5 Assessmet of the risk to health ad safety created by exposure to oise at the workplace (1) A employer who carries out work which is liable to expose ay employees to oise at or above a lower exposure actio value shall make a suitable ad sufficiet assessmet of the risk from that oise to the health ad safety of those employees, ad the risk assessmet shall idetify the measures which eed to be take to meet the requiremets of these Regulatios. (2) I coductig the risk assessmet, the employer shall assess the levels of oise to which workers are exposed by meas of (a) (b) (c) observatio of specific workig practices; referece to relevat iformatio o the probable levels of oise correspodig to ay equipmet used i the particular workig coditios; ad if ecessary, measuremet of the level of oise to which his employees are likely to be exposed, ad the employer shall assess whether ay employees are likely to be exposed to oise at or above a lower exposure actio value, a upper exposure actio value, or a exposure limit value. (3) The risk assessmet shall iclude cosideratio of (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) the level, type ad duratio of exposure, icludig ay exposure to peak soud pressure; the effects of exposure to oise o employees or groups of employees whose health is at particular risk from such exposure; as far as is practicable, ay effects o the health ad safety of employees resultig from the iteractio betwee oise ad the use of ototoxic substaces at work, or betwee oise ad vibratio; ay idirect effects o the health ad safety of employees resultig from the iteractio betwee oise ad audible warig sigals or other souds that eed to be audible i order to reduce risk at work; ay iformatio provided by the maufacturers of work equipmet; the availability of alterative equipmet desiged to reduce the emissio of oise; ay extesio of exposure to oise at the workplace beyod ormal workig hours, icludig exposure i rest facilities supervised by the employer; appropriate iformatio obtaied followig health surveillace, icludig, where possible, published iformatio; ad the availability of persoal hearig protectors with adequate atteuatio characteristics. (4) The risk assessmet shall be reviewed regularly, ad forthwith if 5 (a) (b) there is reaso to suspect that the risk assessmet is o loger valid; or there has bee a sigificat chage i the work to which the assessmet relates, Cotrollig oise at work Page 12 of 130

13 Health ad Safety Regulatio ad where, as a result of the review, chages to the risk assessmet are required, those chages shall be made. (5) The employees cocered or their represetatives shall be cosulted o the assessmet of risk uder the provisios of this regulatio. (6) The employer shall record 5 (a) (b) the sigificat fidigs of the risk assessmet as soo as is practicable after the risk assessmet is made or chaged; ad the measures which he has take ad which he iteds to take to meet the requiremets of regulatios 6, 7 ad 10. Guidace Risk assessmet 32 The purpose of the risk assessmet is to eable you as the employer to make a valid decisio about whether your employees are at risk from exposure to oise ad what actio may be ecessary to prevet or adequately cotrol that exposure. It eables you to demostrate readily to others who have a iterest, eg safety represetatives ad eforcemet authorities, that you have, from the earliest opportuity, cosidered: (a) (b) (c) (d) all the factors related to the risks from oise exposure; the steps which eed to be take to achieve ad maitai adequate cotrol of the risks; the eed for health surveillace; how to put the steps you have decided o ito actio. 33 The risk assessmet must take ito accout all oise exposure at work, icludig, for example, piped music ad persoal stereos. Whe is a oise risk assessmet eeded? 34 You must do a risk assessmet if ay employee is likely to be exposed to oise at or above the lower exposure actio values. A perso s daily oise exposure depeds o both oise level ad legth of exposure. 35 If your workplace is itrisically oisy, ie it is sigificatly oisier tha you would expect from the souds of everyday life, it is possible that the oise levels will exceed 80 db. This is comparable to the oise level of a busy street, a typical vacuum cleaer or a crowded restaurat you will be able to hold a coversatio, but the oise will be itrusive. Workig i a eviromet of 80 db for eight hours will result i exposure at the lower exposure actio value To get a rough estimate of whether a risk assessmet is required you could use the simple tests i Table 1. Cotrollig oise at work Page 13 of 130

14 Health ad Safety Guidace Test The oise is itrusive but ormal coversatio is possible (see paragraph 35) You have to shout to talk to someoe 2 m away You have to shout to talk to someoe 1 m away Probable oise level 80 db 6 hours 85 db 2 hours 90 db 45 miutes A risk assessmet will be eeded if the oise is like this for more tha: Table 1 Simple tests to see if a oise risk assessmet is eeded 37 For peak oise, some sources which may typically lead to exposure above the lower exposure actio value are explosive sources, impactive tools, drop forges, puch presses ad firearms. More advice o peak oise exposure is give i Appedix Decidig whether you eed to do a oise risk assessmet should ot be time-cosumig. If you are i ay doubt, it would be best to assume that the lower exposure actio values have bee exceeded. If you are satisfied that your employees are ot exposed at or above the lower exposure actio values it is sufficiet to record that fact. No further actio will be ecessary except to esure that oise exposures are ot icreased ad to take actio if they are. 5 Guidace 39 See Part 2 for more detailed guidace o risk assessmet. Paragraphs explai what various terms i regulatio 5 mea ad their effects o the risk assessmet. A suitable ad sufficiet assessmet 40 A assessmet will be suitable ad sufficiet if it: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) has bee draw up by someoe who is competet to carry out the task; is based o advice ad iformatio from competet sources; idetifies where there may be a risk from oise ad who is likely to be affected; cotais a reliable estimate of your employees oise exposures ad a compariso of exposure with the exposure actio values ad limit values; idetifies the measures ecessary to elimiate risks ad exposures or reduce them to as low a level as is reasoably practicable; idetifies those employees who eed to be provided with health surveillace ad whether ay employees are at particular risk. The measures which eed to be take 5(1) Guidace 5(2) 41 Whe assessig the work processes which expose your employees to oise you should thik about what eeds to be doe to elimiate or at least reduce the risks, ad draft a pla of actio. If exposure is likely to be at or above the upper exposure actio values, you must establish a formal programme of cotrol measures (see regulatio 6(2)). Further guidace o what to do is i Parts 2 ad 3. Shall assess the levels of oise 42 Your risk assessmet must cotai a assessmet of the oise levels to which your employees are exposed, for compariso with the exposure actio Cotrollig oise at work Page 14 of 130

15 Health ad Safety Guidace values. Where exposure varies from day to day you will eed to assess the various daily exposures, takig ito accout both a typical day ad a worst-case day. More detailed advice o assessig oise exposure is give i Part You are ot required to make a highly precise or defiitive assessmet of idividual employees oise exposure, such as would be obtaied by makig detailed measuremets. Your assessmet of exposure must be a reliable estimate with sufficiet precisio for you to be able to show whether exposure actio values are likely to be exceeded. Your assessmet of exposure will oly be reliable if it uses data which is reasoably represetative of idividuals exposure. You would be expected to use data from measuremets of oise where other sources caot give you reliable ad represetative data. 5(2) Guidace 5(2)(a) Guidace 5(2)(b) Guidace 44 Ucertaities i a assessmet of exposure to oise ca arise from variability i the level of oise ad i the duratio of exposure. If you assess exposure as beig close to a exposure actio value the you should proceed as if the exposure actio value has bee exceeded, or esure that your assessmet is sufficietly precise to demostrate that exposure is below the exposure actio value. Observatio of specific workig practices 45 To assess oise exposure you eed to uderstad the work your employees do ad how they do it. Workers may ot be exposed to the same oise levels throughout the day, ad they may oly sped part of their time i oisy areas. Your employees may ot do their work i the way you assume or expect. There may be local practices which differ from what is usual i your idustry or sector. So work patters, work tasks ad work practices all eed careful cosideratio. To take these factors ito accout you will eed to observe the employees work patters ad practices durig represetative periods. Relevat iformatio o the probable levels of oise 46 Ay iformatio you use to estimate oise levels eeds to match as closely as possible the coditios ad practices i your workplace. This is particularly importat where you are usig data which has ot resulted from measuremets i your workplace. So if you cosult published iformatio o typical oise levels i certai idustries, or use oise data from machiery maufacturers, you eed to be sure the data ca be take to be represetative of your work. More advice o the use of maufacturers data is i Part 4. Measuremet of the level of oise 47 The Noise Regulatios require you to make measuremets of oise if ecessary. Measuremets will be ecessary if you caot make a reliable estimate of your employees exposure i other ways. You may also wish to use measuremets to demostrate that the oise exposure is below a particular value so that you ca assure yourself ad others that you are complyig with the Noise Regulatios, ad if you require cofirmatio that your cotrol actios have reduced exposure. 5(2)(c) 48 You should esure that ay measuremets are carried out by someoe who is competet, ie someoe who has the relevat skills, kowledge ad experiece to udertake measuremets i your particular workig eviromet. More detailed advice o measurig oise i the workplace is i Appedix 1. Cotrollig oise at work Page 15 of 130

16 Health ad Safety Guidace 5(3) Guidace 5(3)(a) Guidace 5(3)(b) Guidace Factors to cosider i assessig risks Level, type ad duratio of exposure 49 The factors which gover a perso s daily oise exposure are the level of oise ad the legth of time they are exposed to it. The greater the oise level or the loger the duratio of exposure, the greater the perso s oise exposure will be. Some methods to help you estimate likely oise exposure by combiig oise levels ad time of exposure are i Part 2. Other characteristics of the oise, such as the frequecy ad whether the oise is cotiuous or characterised by high levels of short duratio, may also affect the risk. Employees or groups of employees whose health is at particular risk 50 Some workers should be give particular cosideratio withi your risk assessmet, eg people with a pre-existig hearig coditio, those with a family history of deafess (if kow), pregat wome ad youg people. The Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios place certai prohibitios o employig ayoe uder 18 where there is a risk to health from oise. Ay effects... from the iteractio betwee oise ad the use of ototoxic substaces at work, or betwee oise ad vibratio 51 Some studies have suggested that there is a lik betwee exposure to had-trasmitted vibratio ad hearig loss, meaig that workers may be more vulerable to oise-iduced hearig loss if they are exposed to had-trasmitted vibratio. Other studies have suggested that some chemicals, particularly solvets, ca act i combiatio with oise to cause further damage to hearig tha the oise or chemical exposures aloe. Where there are likely to be such mixed exposures i your workplace you should ote this withi your risk assessmet ad moitor developmets o these issues. If you suspect the use of chemicals or vibratig equipmet might icrease the risk of hearig damage to ay of your employees, you could: 5(3)(c) (a) (b) (c) cosider whether you ca limit their exposure by reducig the time spet o particular tasks; moitor the health surveillace results of those workers; icrease the frequecy of health surveillace for those workers. Guidace 5(3)(d) Idirect effects... resultig from the iteractio betwee oise ad audible warig sigals 52 Noise ca mask importat warig sigals ad messages, leadig to potetial safety issues. You will eed to cosider the characteristics of ay audible warig ad iformatio sigals i your workplace to take accout of the possible maskig effects of the geeral oise eviromet ad of ay hearig protectio wor. You may wat to cosider visual warigs, or the use of hearig protectio with commuicatio facilities (see Part 5). Guidace 5(3)(e) Iformatio provided by the maufacturers of work equipmet 53 Suppliers of machiery are legally required to provide iformatio o the oise emissio from their machiery if it exceeds a certai level (see Appedix 4). They must tell you what the oise level is likely to be at the operator positio if it exceeds a A-weighted soud pressure of 70 db (or a C-weighted peak soud pressure of 130 db). They must also tell you what the total oise emitted by the machie is (the soud power level ) if the operator positio oise level exceeds 85 db. It may be possible to use this iformatio i your risk assessmet ad to assess oise exposure if the iformatio is relevat to your work. Cotrollig oise at work Page 16 of 130

17 Health ad Safety Guidace The availability of alterative equipmet desiged to reduce the emissio of oise 54 Maufacturers are legally required to esure that machiery is desiged ad costructed to reduce risks from oise to the lowest level takig accout of techical progress. You should expect to be able to fid equipmet o the market which reflects techical progress i low oise emissios, ad for progress to cotiue over time. I decidig whether you have doe eough to reduce risks from oise you will eed to cosider whether there are lower-oise alteratives to the tools ad machiery you are usig. 5(3)(f) Guidace 5(3)(g) Guidace 55 The implemetatio of a positive purchasig policy i relatio to oise is covered i paragraphs Part 4 gives more detailed iformatio o how to select quieter tools ad machies, ad Appedix 4 o the legal duties of maufacturers ad suppliers. Extesio of exposure to oise at the workplace beyod ormal workig hours 56 Employees ca also be exposed to oise at the workplace over ad above their ormal workig hours, eg durig overtime, exteded shifts, luch breaks or rest times. You eed to take this exposure ito accout i the risk assessmet. If you provide rest facilities o site, you must esure it is quiet eough iside them so that people ca rest. For example, i sleepig quarters, oise levels over 45 db are kow to cause aoyace ad/or sleep disturbace. Miimisig exposure durig rest periods ad breaks is particularly importat to allow employees some respite from the oise. Appropriate iformatio obtaied followig health surveillace 57 You should arrage to receive health surveillace data (aoymised ad grouped to protect medical-i-cofidece iformatio about idividual workers) relatig to your ow busiess. This will idicate whether ew cases of oiseiduced hearig loss are developig or whether existig cases have worseed. This will help you decide whether the risk is beig cotrolled effectively ad whether you eed to do more to cotrol it. 5(3)(h) Guidace 5(3)(i) 58 Geeral data relatig to the results of health surveillace i your particular sector or idustry may also provide useful iformatio. This iformatio may be published or made available by HSE, trade associatios, idustry-specific jourals or other publicatios. The availability of persoal hearig protectors with adequate atteuatio characteristics 59 You will eed to cosider whether suitable hearig protectio is available for reducig oise exposure i the particular circumstaces of your work. The hearig protectio has to be appropriate to the level ad character of the oise ad to reduce the oise adequately. You eed to take accout of this whe plaig measures to cotrol the risk ad you eed to cosider developmets i hearig protectio techology ad desig whe reviewig those measures. Hearig protectio should ot be used as a alterative to cotrollig oise by techical ad orgaisatioal meas, but it ca be used as a iterim measure while these other cotrols are beig developed. Further guidace o the use of hearig protectio is give i paragraphs ad i Part 5. Cotrollig oise at work Page 17 of 130

18 Health ad Safety Guidace 5(4) Guidace 5(5) ad 6(7) Guidace Reviewed regularly 60 The risk assessmet should be reviewed ad updated whe circumstaces chage i your workplace which might alter the level of exposure or where there are techological chages or chages to the availability, applicability or cost of oise-cotrol measures. The review of the assessmet should be part of a ogoig oise-risk maagemet ad cotrol programme which ca pick up chages as they occur. Eve if you cosider there have bee o chages, you should review your assessmet at least every two years. See Part 2 paragraphs for more iformatio. The employees cocered or their represetatives shall be cosulted 61 It is importat to talk to the workers cocered ad their employee or safety represetatives, ot oly to tell them what you are doig, but also to seek their advice, help ad co-operatio o what is achievable ad practical. They ca provide valuable advice o how measures you propose to take will affect their work ad may suggest actio you ca take which you had ot cosidered. Record the sigificat fidigs of the risk assessmet... ad the measures which he has take 62 You must make a record of your oise risk assessmet coverig: (a) (b) the major fidigs, icludig which of your employees are at risk, the level of risk ad exposure, ad uder what circumstaces the risks occur; the actio you have take or ited to take, with timescales ad allocatio of resposibility. 5(6) Guidace 5 63 Further iformatio o what your record should cover is i Part 2 paragraph 180. Competece 64 To carry out the tasks which may be ivolved i oise risk assessmet properly requires competece i particular areas, eg drawig up the risk assessmet (paragraph 40), measurig oise exposure (paragraphs 47-48) ad assessig the likely effectiveess of cotrol measures. Regulatio 7 of the Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios 1999 requires the employer to have access to competet help i applyig health ad safety law. You may have some of the ecessary competecies yourself. You may have people withi your workforce who are competet to carry out some of the tasks or provide you with the ecessary iformatio, perhaps with some traiig required. Alteratively, you may fid that you eed to call i competet people from outside your compay, such as cosultats, to carry out some or all of the work. More details are give i Part 2 paragraphs Regulatio Regulatio 6 Elimiatio or cotrol of exposure to oise at the workplace (1) The employer shall esure that risk from the exposure of his employees to oise is either elimiated at source or, where this is ot reasoably practicable, reduced to as low a level as is reasoably practicable. 6 (2) If ay employee is likely to be exposed to oise at or above a upper exposure actio value, the employer shall reduce exposure to as low a level as Cotrollig oise at work Page 18 of 130

19 Health ad Safety Regulatio is reasoably practicable by establishig ad implemetig a programme of orgaisatioal ad techical measures, excludig the provisio of persoal hearig protectors, which is appropriate to the activity. (3) The actios take by the employer i compliace with paragraphs (1) ad (2) shall be based o the geeral priciples of prevetio set out i Schedule 1 to the Maagemet of Health ad Safety Regulatios 1999 (a) ad shall iclude cosideratio of (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) other workig methods which reduce exposure to oise; choice of appropriate work equipmet emittig the least possible oise, takig accout of the work to be doe; the desig ad layout of workplaces, work statios ad rest facilities; suitable ad sufficiet iformatio ad traiig for employees, such that work equipmet may be used correctly, i order to miimise their exposure to oise; reductio of oise by techical meas; appropriate maiteace programmes for work equipmet, the workplace ad workplace systems; limitatio of the duratio ad itesity of exposure to oise; ad appropriate work schedules with adequate rest periods. (4) The employer shall (a) esure that his employees are ot exposed to oise above a exposure limit value; or (b) if a exposure limit value is exceeded forthwith (i) (ii) (iii) reduce exposure to oise to below the exposure limit value; idetify the reaso for that exposure limit value beig exceeded; ad modify the orgaisatioal ad techical measures take i accordace with paragraphs (1) ad (2) ad regulatios 7 ad 8(1) to prevet it beig exceeded agai. (5) Where rest facilities are made available to employees, the employer shall esure that exposure to oise i these facilities is reduced to a level suitable for their purpose ad coditios of use. (6) The employer shall adapt ay measure take i compliace with the requiremets of this regulatio to take accout of ay employee or group of employees whose health is likely to be particularly at risk from exposure to oise. (7) The employees cocered or their represetatives shall be cosulted o the measures to be take to meet the requiremets of this regulatio. 6 Guidace (a) SI 1999/3242, as ameded by SI 2003/2457. Cotrollig oise 65 This regulatio places duties o you: 6 (a) (b) (c) to take actio to elimiate risks from oise exposure completely wherever it is reasoably practicable to do so (regulatio 6(1)); if it is ot reasoably practicable to elimiate the risks completely, to reduce them to as low a level as is reasoably practicable (regulatio 6(1)); to itroduce a formal programme of measures to reduce oise exposure Cotrollig oise at work Page 19 of 130

20 Health ad Safety Guidace 6 (d) wheever a employee s exposure to oise is likely to exceed the upper exposure actio values (these measures caot iclude hearig protectio, which is addressed separately) (regulatio 6(2)); ot to expose ayoe above the exposure limit values (regulatio 6(4)) (see paragraphs 78-80). Guidace Elimiate or reduce risk 66 This geeral duty applies wheever there is a risk from oise ad irrespective of whether ay exposure actio values are exceeded. It is likely, however, that oly iexpesive ad simple measures will be reasoably practicable if the lower exposure actio values are ot exceeded. To comply with this duty you eed to: 6(1) Guidace (a) cosider whether there are alterative processes, equipmet ad/or workig methods which would elimiate risks from oise exposure; (b) follow good practice ad idustry stadard cotrol measures (see Part 2 paragraphs ); (c) take oise ito accout whe selectig tools ad machiery (see paragraphs 72-74); (d) maitai machiery i accordace with maufacturers recommedatios (see paragraph 75); (e) explore ay opportuity to provide your employees with periods of relief from oise exposure (see paragraph 77). Establishig ad implemetig a programme of orgaisatioal ad techical measures 67 The actio pla produced durig your oise risk assessmet should describe a programme of cotrol measures ad your plas to put it ito actio with realistic timescales. The programme of cotrol measures should be devised to reduce oise exposures so far as is reasoably practicable. 68 The actios you take will deped o the particular work activities ad processes ad the possibilities for cotrol, but i geeral you should: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) idetify what is possible to cotrol oise exposures, how much reductio could be achieved ad so what is reasoably practicable; establish priorities for actio ad a timetable; assig resposibilities to idividuals to deliver the various parts of the programme; esure that the work ivolved i implemetig the oise-cotrol measures is carried out; check that what you have doe has bee effective i reducig oise exposures. 6(2) Guidace 69 Some cotrols may take time to put i place, particularly where equipmet must be replaced or ew idustrial processes developed. Other cotrols may be cosidered to be ot reasoably practicable but may become so over time as circumstaces chage. You will eed regularly to review the feasibility of further oise reductios. The geeral priciples of prevetio 70 I idetifyig ad puttig i place appropriate oise-cotrol ad risk-reductio measures you should follow the geeral priciples of prevetio set out i Schedule 1 to the Maagemet of Health ad Safety at Work Regulatios 1999: 6(3) (a) avoidig risks; Cotrollig oise at work Page 20 of 130

21 Health ad Safety Guidace (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) evaluatig the risks which caot be avoided; combatig the risks at source; adaptig the work to the idividual, especially as regards the desig of workplaces, the choice of work equipmet ad the choice of workig ad productio methods, with a view, i particular, to alleviatig mootoous work ad work at a predetermied work-rate ad to reducig their effect o health; adaptig to techical progress; replacig the dagerous by the o-dagerous or the less dagerous; developig a coheret overall prevetio policy which covers techology, orgaisatio of work, workig coditios, social relatioships ad the ifluece of factors relatig to the workig eviromet; givig collective protective measures priority over idividual protective measures; givig appropriate istructios to employees. 6(3) Guidace 71 Regulatio 6(3) lists several possible oise-cotrol ad risk-reductio methods, followig the geeral priciples of prevetio. There are other ways of reducig oise ad o sigle techique will be appropriate for every situatio. A programme of oise cotrol should adopt a systematic approach to idetifyig what ca be doe, ad should ot be restricted to cosiderig what is listed i regulatio 6(3). Part 3 gives practical advice o oise cotrol, while paragraphs iclude some basic guidace o some of the measures i regulatio 6(3). Choice of appropriate work equipmet emittig the least possible oise 72 For may types of equipmet there will be models desiged to be less oisy. Noise-reductio programmes are oly likely to be effective if they iclude a positive purchasig policy which makes sure you take oise ito accout whe selectig machiery. Whe buyig, hirig or replacig equipmet you should ask potetial suppliers for iformatio o the oise emissio of machies uder the coditios you ited to use it, ad use that iformatio to compare machies. 73 Where you fid it is ecessary to purchase machiery which causes workers to be exposed over the actio levels, you will fid that keepig a record of the reasos for the decisio will help guide future actio, eg by providig those resposible for future machie specificatios with iformatio o improvemets that are eeded. 6(3)(b) Guidace 6(3(f) Guidace 6(3)(g) 74 Part 3 paragraphs has more iformatio about a positive purchasig policy ad Part 4 has more iformatio o the selectio of quieter tools ad machiery, icludig the use ad limitatios of maufacturers oise data. Appropriate maiteace programmes for work equipmet 75 Maiteace of machiery, carried out i accordace with the maufacturer s recommedatios, ca prevet oise emissios icreasig over time. You should esure that appropriate maiteace is performed o equipmet so that its performace does ot deteriorate to the extet that it puts employees at risk due to the oise emitted. Operators should be istructed to report ay uusually high oise levels ad check that machies are operatig properly. Limitatio of the duratio ad itesity of exposure 76 Whe all reasoably practicable steps have bee take to reduce oise levels the ext step to reduce exposure is to limit its duratio. The exposure poits system described i Part 2 paragraphs ca be a useful maagemet tool for this purpose. Cotrollig oise at work Page 21 of 130

22 Health ad Safety Guidace 6(3)(h) Guidace Appropriate work schedules with adequate rest periods 77 Workers exposed to loud oise should have the opportuity to sped time away from the oisy eviromet ad, wherever possible, breaks should be take i quiet zoes. Eve if this does ot sigificatly reduce daily exposure it will help by allowig recuperatio ad, i some circumstaces, prevetig the eed to wear hearig protectio cotiuously. Reductio of exposure below the exposure limit values 78 You must ot permit a employee to be exposed above the exposure limit values. You will eed to check whether your programme of cotrol measures, icludig, i this case, the provisio of hearig protectio, is eough to prevet this level of exposure. 79 If you discover that a exposure limit value is exceeded, you must immediately take actio to reduce exposure. Address the reasos for the overexposure by reviewig your programme of cotrol measures. You should cosider the techical ad orgaisatioal cotrols, the adequacy of ay hearig protectio supplied ad the systems you have i place to esure that oise-cotrol measures ad hearig protectio are fully ad properly used ad maitaied. 6(4) Guidace 6(6) 80 You should ot cosider the exposure limit values to be a target for your oise cotrol programme remember that regulatios 6(1) ad 6(2) require you to reduce risks ad exposures to as low a level as is reasoably practicable. Ay employee or group of employees whose health is likely to be at particular risk from exposure to oise 81 Paragraph 50 describes employees i this category. As well as special efforts to restrict exposure for such idividuals a icreased level of health surveillace may also be appropriate. Regulatio Regulatio 7 Hearig protectio (1) Without prejudice to the provisios of regulatio 6, a employer who carries out work which is likely to expose ay employees to oise at or above a lower exposure actio value shall make persoal hearig protectors available upo request to ay employee who is so exposed. (2) Without prejudice to the provisios of regulatio 6, if a employer is uable by other meas to reduce the levels of oise to which a employee is likely to be exposed to below a upper exposure actio value, he shall provide persoal hearig protectors to ay employee who is so exposed. (3) If i ay area of the workplace uder the cotrol of the employer a employee is likely to be exposed to oise at or above a upper exposure actio value for ay reaso the employer shall esure that (a) (b) the area is desigated a Hearig Protectio Zoe; the area is demarcated ad idetified by meas of the sig specified for the purpose of idicatig that ear protectio must be wor i paragraph 3.3 of Part II of Schedule 1 to the Health ad Safety (Safety Sigs ad Sigals) Regulatios 1996; (a) ad 7 (a) SI 1996/341. Cotrollig oise at work Page 22 of 130

23 Health ad Safety Regulatio (c) access to the area is restricted where this is practicable ad the risk from exposure justifies it, ad shall esure so far as is reasoably practicable that o employee eters that area uless that employee is wearig persoal hearig protectors. (4) Ay persoal hearig protectors made available or provided uder paragraphs (1) or (2) of this regulatio shall be selected by the employer 7 (a) (b) so as to elimiate the risk to hearig or to reduce the risk to as low a level as is reasoably practicable; ad after cosultatio with the employees cocered or their represetatives. Guidace The eed for hearig protectors 82 Persoal hearig protectio should oly be used: (a) (b) where there is a eed to provide additioal protectio beyod what has bee achieved through oise-cotrol measures uder regulatio 6; as a iterim measure while you are developig those cotrol measures. 83 It should ot be used as a alterative to cotrollig oise by techical ad orgaisatioal meas. 84 The duty to provide hearig protectors depeds o the exposure levels: (a) (b) Where employees are exposed betwee the lower ad upper exposure actio values you have to provide protectors to employees who ask for them but the Noise Regulatios do ot make their use compulsory. Where employees are likely to be exposed at or above the upper exposure actio values, you have to provide hearig protectors. Regulatio 8 requires you to esure the hearig protectors are used ad requires your employees to use them. Uder regulatio 10 you will eed to provide iformatio to your employees about the protectors ad how to obtai ad use them. 85 Makig the use of hearig protectio compulsory for workers exposed below the upper exposure actio values should be avoided, except withi hearig protectio zoes. 86 Where workers are exposed above the upper exposure actio values ad are therefore required to wear hearig protectio, you should ot ecessarily make it compulsory at all times throughout the workig day, eg i areas or at times whe oise levels are low. Hearig protectio use should be targeted at particular oisy jobs ad activities ad be selected to reduce exposure at least to below the upper exposure actio values. 87 Advice o the selectio of suitable hearig protectors ad their use, care ad maiteace is i Part 5. Hearig protectio zoes 7 88 Hearig protectio zoes provide a way for you to maage the use of hearig protectio. They give a remider to those employees for whom hearig protectio is compulsory durig particular jobs or activities. They also provide a way of esurig that employees or other people affected by the oise from those jobs or activities are protected. Cotrollig oise at work Page 23 of 130

24 Health ad Safety Guidace 89 You should desigate as hearig protectio zoes ay areas of your workplace where work is goig o durig which particular employees must be provided with, ad use, hearig protectio (regulatios 7(2) ad 8(1)(a)). You should also desigate as hearig protectio zoes ay areas of your workplace where the upper exposure actio values would be likely to be exceeded if persoel spet a sigificat portio of the workig day withi them, eve if access is geerally ifrequet, eg plat rooms or compressor houses. 90 Hearig protectio zoes ca be fixed locatios or be mobile, ad ca be permaet or temporary, depedig o the ature of the activities ad the source of oise. 91 You will eed to esure that o perso eters a hearig protectio zoe uless it is ecessary to carry out their work. Before eterig a hearig protectio zoe people must put o suitable hearig protectio ad must wear it all the time they are withi the zoe. You should istruct employees ad other people of these requiremets, ad put a system of supervisio i place to esure these istructios are followed. 92 You will eed to mark hearig protectio zoes with sigs showig that they are areas where hearig protectio is eeded. You should locate these sigs at all etraces to the zoes ad at appropriate places withi the zoes as ecessary. The sig eed ot iclude ay words, but where wordig is icluded it should covey the same meaig as the sig. Sigs itroduced uder the Noise at Work Regulatios 1989 referrig to ear protectio zoes are acceptable ad eed ot be chaged. Figure 1 Hearig protectio zoe sig 93 The boudaries of hearig protectio zoes should be cosidered carefully. You should avoid hearig protectio zoes overlappig with desigated or commoly used walkways. Zoes should ot exted ay further tha is ecessary to protect people carryig out their ormal work or ay foreseeable o-typical tasks. 94 I situatios where the boudaries of the zoe caot be marked, eg where the work requires people to move the oise sources about a great deal, you should make adequate alterative arragemets to help make sure that people kow where or whe protectors should be wor. These could iclude: 7 (a) (b) attachig sigs to tools warig that people who are usig them must wear hearig protectors; writte ad verbal istructios o how to recogise where ad whe protectors should be wor, eg by desigatig particular tasks or operatios as oes where protectors must be used. Cotrollig oise at work Page 24 of 130

25 Health ad Safety Regulatio Regulatio 8 Maiteace ad use of equipmet (1) The employer shall (a) (b) esure so far as is practicable that aythig provided by him i compliace with his duties uder these Regulatios to or for the beefit of a employee, other tha persoal hearig protectors provided uder regulatio 7(1), is fully ad properly used; ad esure that aythig provided by him i compliace with his duties uder these Regulatios is maitaied i a efficiet state, i efficiet workig order ad i good repair. (2) Every employee shall 8 (a) (b) make full ad proper use of persoal hearig protectors provided to him by his employer i compliace with regulatio 7(2) ad of ay other cotrol measures provided by his employer i compliace with his duties uder these Regulatios; ad if he discovers ay defect i ay persoal hearig protectors or other cotrol measures as specified i sub-paragraph (a) report it to his employer as soo as is practicable. Guidace Use ad maiteace of oise-cotrol equipmet 95 You must esure, so far as is practicable, that ay oise-cotrol equipmet you put i place is fully ad properly used. For example, if a oise eclosure is provided with a access door, you will eed to make sure that the equipmet is ot operated while the door is ope. You should make sure that adequate istructios ad supervisio are i place to achieve this. 96 You must also make sure that oise-cotrol equipmet is maitaied. You should carry out regular checks ad itroduce a system for reportig ay defects or problems to someoe with authority ad resposibility for remedial actio. You will eed to put right ay deficiecies promptly. 97 Your programme of maiteace should iclude: (a) (b) (c) ispectig the oise-cotrol equipmet (such as silecers or eclosures) periodically to make sure it is kept i good coditio; moitorig the equipmet s effectiveess. Spot checks of the oise level at pre-selected locatios will usually be adequate; reportig the results of these checks to someoe with resposibility ad authority for takig remedial actio. Use ad maiteace of hearig protectors 98 People are ofte reluctat to use hearig protectors, ad eve where they start to use them they ca easily get out of the habit. You therefore eed to itroduce a systematic programme to esure they are used, takig ito accout the followig: 8 (a) (b) (c) the firm s safety policy, which should iclude a clear commitmet to usig persoal protectio; sigs ad warig otices to esure awareess of where ad whe protectors should be used (see paragraph 92); clear resposibilities. You should idetify who is resposible for the hearig protectio programme ad the distributio ad maiteace of protectors; Cotrollig oise at work Page 25 of 130

26 Health ad Safety Guidace (d) (e) (f) iformatio, istructio ad traiig for all employees o the risks ad the actio they should take (see paragraphs ); records which should iclude details of the issue of hearig protectors, arragemets for esurig users kow where ad how to use them, ad ay problems people ecouter whe usig them; moitorig icludig spot checks to fid out whether the hearig protectors are beig used. You should keep a record ad itroduce a system to eable people to report deficiecies to a perso with resposibility ad authority for remedial actio. Where a employee is ot usig hearig protectio properly you should ask them why, ad either resolve the difficulty or give ad record a verbal warig. Where people persistetly fail to use protectors properly you should follow ormal discipliary procedures. 99 You will eed to arrage for someoe to ispect reusable hearig protectors periodically ad to repair or replace them if ecessary. If your employees use disposable protectors, you should check that supplies are cotiuously available, ad fill dispesers up regularly. Make sure that dirt does ot get ito the dispesers themselves ad that employees are ot isertig the protectors with dirty hads. You should itroduce a system for employees to report ay damaged, defective or lost protectors. 100 You should make proper provisio for storage of reusable protectors, such as: (a) (b) storage bags for earmuffs; clea lockers where employees ca keep them with other clothig. 101 You should also esure that ay special cleaig materials eeded to clea their hearig protectors are available to users. Employees duties 102 Employees have a duty to comply with ad use the measures you provide uder the Noise Regulatios, icludig: (a) (b) (c) (d) usig oise-cotrol measures, such as exhaust silecers ad machie eclosures, i accordace with your istructios; wearig hearig protectio i accordace with istructios provided whe exposed at or above the upper exposure actio values ad at all times i areas marked as hearig protectio zoes; takig care of hearig protectors ad oise-cotrol equipmet they eed to use; reportig, i accordace with your procedures, ay defect foud i the hearig protectors or other protective measures or ay difficulties i usig them I additio, uder the Health ad Safety at Work etc Act 1974, employees are required geerally to co-operate with their employer to eable the employer to carry out legal duties. Cotrollig oise at work Page 26 of 130

27 Health ad Safety Regulatio Regulatio 9 Health surveillace (1) If the risk assessmet idicates that there is a risk to the health of his employees who are, or are liable to be, exposed to oise, the employer shall esure that such employees are placed uder suitable health surveillace, which shall iclude testig of their hearig. (2) The employer shall esure that a health record i respect of each of his employees who udergoes health surveillace i accordace with paragraph (1) is made ad maitaied ad that the record or a copy thereof is kept available i a suitable form. (3) The employer shall (a) (b) o reasoable otice beig give, allow a employee access to his persoal health record; ad provide the eforcig authority with copies of such health records as it may require. (4) Where, as a result of health surveillace, a employee is foud to have idetifiable hearig damage the employer shall esure that the employee is examied by a doctor ad, if the doctor or ay specialist to whom the doctor cosiders it ecessary to refer the employee cosiders that the damage is likely to be the result of exposure to oise, the employer shall (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) esure that a suitably qualified perso iforms the employee accordigly; review the risk assessmet; review ay measure take to comply with regulatios 6, 7 ad 8, takig ito accout ay advice give by a doctor or occupatioal health professioal, or by the eforcig authority; cosider assigig the employee to alterative work where there is o risk from further exposure to oise, takig ito accout ay advice give by a doctor or occupatioal health professioal; ad esure cotiued health surveillace ad provide for a review of the health of ay other employee who has bee similarly exposed. 9 Guidace 9 Guidace 9(1) (5) A employee to whom this regulatio applies shall, whe required by his employer ad at the cost of his employer, preset himself durig his workig hours for such health surveillace procedures as may be required for the purposes of paragraph (1). 104 Health surveillace is a programme of systematic health checks to idetify early sigs ad symptoms of work-related ill health ad to allow actio to be take to prevet its progressio. It is also useful i moitorig the effectiveess of your cotrols, though it is ot i itself a cotrol measure or a substitute for cotrollig risk at source. Suitable health surveillace usually meas regular hearig checks (audiometric testig). Part 6 provides iformatio o health surveillace ad sets out what you have to do. Some terms i regulatio 9 are explaied i paragraphs If the risk assessmet idicates that there is a risk to health 105 Regulatio 9(1) requires you to provide suitable health surveillace where the risk assessmet idicates a risk to workers health, ie a risk from exposure to oise without takig accout of the oise reductio provided by hearig protectio (see paragraph 31). The results of your health surveillace will eable you to check, amog other thigs, whether your hearig protectio programme has preveted hearig damage. Cotrollig oise at work Page 27 of 130

28 Health ad Safety Guidace 9(1) Guidace 9(2) ad (3) Guidace 106 There is strog evidece to show that frequet exposure above the upper exposure actio values ca pose a risk to health. You should therefore provide health surveillace to workers frequetly exposed above the upper exposure actio values. Where exposure is betwee the lower ad upper exposure actio values, or where employees are oly occasioally exposed above the upper exposure actio values, you should provide health surveillace if you fid out that a idividual may be particularly sesitive to oise. This may be from past medical history, audiometric test results from previous jobs, other idepedet assessmets or a history of exposure to oise levels exceedig the upper exposure actio values. A few idividuals may also idicate a family history of becomig deaf early o i life. 107 If you provide health surveillace i accordace with paragraph 105 there should be o eed for employees to seek separate advice from a doctor as allowed uder Article 10.2 of the Europea Directive. Employees are able to obtai hearig checks through the Natioal Health Service, ad it is therefore ot ecessary to make specific provisio for this uder these Regulatios. Health record 108 These records will cotai iformatio o the outcome of the health surveillace ad iformatio o the idividual s fitess to work i oisy eviromets. They should ot cotai cofidetial medical iformatio, which should be kept i the medical record held by a occupatioal health professioal. If your firm should cease to trade you should offer the health records to the idividual cocered. Actio required whe health surveillace reveals that a employee has suffered ill health as a result of exposure to oise 109 The doctor or occupatioal health professioal who has made the diagosis will explai the sigificace of the results to the employee ad give advice o the risks of cotiuig to be exposed to oise at work. 110 The doctor or occupatioal health professioal will iform you of the fidigs of the health surveillace procedures, i particular whether or ot the employee is fit to cotiue work ivolvig oise. However, they will ot disclose medical-icofidece iformatio to you without the writte coset of the employee. 111 You should prevet further harm to the idividual by actig o advice from the doctor or occupatioal health professioal ad, where ecessary, removig the employee from exposure to oise. You should review your risk assessmet to decide whether to take actio to protect the rest of the workforce. Where other workers are similarly exposed to oise you should arrage for their health to be reviewed. 9(4) 112 By receivig a aalysis of the aoymised health results of groups of employees, you ca gai a isight ito how well your oise-cotrol ad hearigcoservatio programme is workig. Such iformatio should be suitably adapted to protect idividuals idetities ad be made available to safety or employee represetatives. Cotrollig oise at work Page 28 of 130

29 Health ad Safety Guidace Attedace for health surveillace 113 Regulatio 9(5) requires your employees to co-operate with your health surveillace programme by attedig their health surveillace appoitmets. However, you must arrage for this as part of their paid employmet ad cover ay costs. Cosultatio with employees ad their represetatives 9(5) Regulatio 114 You should cosult with the employees cocered ad their employee or safety represetatives before itroducig health surveillace. It is importat that they uderstad that the aim of health surveillace is to protect them from developig advaced symptoms of ill health. You will eed their uderstadig ad co-operatio if health surveillace is to be effective. Regulatio 10 Iformatio, istructio ad traiig (1) Where his employees are exposed to oise which is likely to be at or above a lower exposure actio value, the employer shall provide those employees ad their represetatives with suitable ad sufficiet iformatio, istructio ad traiig. (2) Without prejudice to the geerality of paragraph (1), the iformatio, istructio ad traiig provided uder that paragraph shall iclude (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) the ature of risks from exposure to oise; the orgaisatioal ad techical measures take i order to comply with the requiremets of regulatio 6; the exposure limit values ad upper ad lower exposure actio values set out i regulatio 4; the sigificat fidigs of the risk assessmet, icludig ay measuremets take, with a explaatio of those fidigs; the availability ad provisio of persoal hearig protectors uder regulatio 7 ad their correct use i accordace with regulatio 8(2); why ad how to detect ad report sigs of hearig damage; the etitlemet to health surveillace uder regulatio 9 ad its purposes; safe workig practices to miimise exposure to oise; ad the collective results of ay health surveillace udertake i accordace with regulatio 9 i a form calculated to prevet those results from beig idetified as relatig to a particular perso. (3) The iformatio, istructio ad traiig required by paragraph (1) shall be updated to take accout of sigificat chages i the type of work carried out or the workig methods used by the employer. 10 Guidace 10 (4) The employer shall esure that ay perso, whether or ot his employee, who carries out work i coectio with the employer s duties uder these Regulatios has suitable ad sufficiet iformatio, istructio ad traiig. Iformatio, istructio ad traiig for employees 115 It is importat that employees uderstad the level of risk they may be exposed to, how it is caused ad the possible effects ad cosequeces. You should be as iformative ad ope as you ca to your exposed workers ad to their employee ad safety represetatives. Regulatio 10(2) lists some of the issues that must be covered, but it is ot exhaustive. Cotrollig oise at work Page 29 of 130

30 Health ad Safety Guidace 116 It is importat to tell employees: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) the likely oise exposure ad the risk to hearig the oise creates; what you are doig to cotrol risks ad exposures; where ad how people ca obtai hearig protectors; how to report defects i hearig protectors ad oise cotrol equipmet; the employee s duties uder the Noise Regulatios; what health surveillace employees will be provided with ad how you are goig to provide it; what symptoms they should look out for (such as difficulty i uderstadig speech i coversatio or whe usig the telephoe, or permaet rigig i the ears), to whom they should report them ad how they should report them. 117 You ca provide the iformatio, istructio ad traiig i differet ways, eg verbal explaatios, computer-based traiig, videos, leaflets. The importat thig is to make sure you give the iformatio i a way i which the employee ca uderstad it. You will eed to reiforce the messages from time to time, ad you should draw employees attetio to ay relevat advice provided by HSE ad provide them with the HSE pocket card Programmes for cotrollig oise exposure are more likely to succeed whe there is co-operatio betwee yourself ad your employees. The ivolvemet of safety represetatives ad other employee represetatives will be ivaluable i promotig this co-operatio. Workig with trade-uio-appoited safety represetatives or other employee represetatives ca be a very useful meas of commuicatig health ad safety matters i your workplace. You are required by the Safety Represetatives ad Safety Committees Regulatios ad the Offshore Istallatios (Safety Represetatives ad Safety Committees) Regulatios to make certai iformatio available to safety represetatives appoited uder the Regulatios. The represetatives are etitled to ispect your documets. These will ormally iclude records of risk assessmets coverig the employees represeted. You should make sure the represetatives kow how the iformatio ca be obtaied ad give them ay ecessary explaatios of their meaig. 10 Guidace 119 There is also a duty o employers to provide iformatio to employee represetatives elected uder the Health ad Safety (Cosultatio with Employees) Regulatios 1996, 8 which apply to groups of workers who are ot covered by a trade-uio-appoited safety represetative. Iformatio, istructio ad traiig i coectio with the employer s duties 120 Ayoe who helps you comply with your duties uder the Noise Regulatios (eg by makig oise measuremets, determiig exposures or plaig for cotrol of risk through chages to idustrial processes or workig practices) must be competet to udertake the task. Whether you employ a cosultat or use members of your staff for these purposes you must satisfy yourself of their competece ad provide them with ay iformatio o the work ecessary for them to udertake the tasks. 10(4) 121 Part 2 paragraphs cotai guidace o appropriate levels of kowledge ad expertise for competet assessmet ad maagemet of oise risks. Cotrollig oise at work Page 30 of 130

31 Health ad Safety Regulatio Regulatio 11 Exemptio certificates from hearig protectio (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the may, by a certificate i writig, exempt ay perso or class of persos from the provisios of regulatio 6(4) ad regulatio 7(1) ad (2) where because of the ature of the work the full ad proper use of idividual hearig protectors would be likely to cause greater risk to health or safety tha ot usig such protectors, ad ay such exemptio may be grated subject to coditios ad to a limit of time ad may be revoked by a certificate i writig at ay time. (2) The shall ot grat such a exemptio uless 11 (a) (b) (c) (d) it cosults the employers ad the employees or their represetatives cocered; it cosults such other persos as it cosiders appropriate; the resultig risks are reduced to as low a level as is reasoably practicable; ad the employees cocered are subject to icreased health surveillace. Guidace 122 HSE may grat a exemptio from the requiremets ot to exceed the exposure limit values ad to provide hearig protectio as log as it is satisfied that the health ad safety of people who are likely to be affected by the exemptio will ot be prejudiced as a result. HSE may grat a exemptio subject to time limitatio ad coditios, ad may revoke it. You would be required to agree with HSE a programme to make sure you cotrol ad check oise exposure, ad itroduce improvemets as soo as reasoably practicable. 123 Ay exemptio uder this regulatio ad regulatios 12 ad 13 will ot remove the duty uder regulatio 6(1) to elimiate the risk from oise or reduce it to as low a level as is reasoably practicable. 124 HSE may oly cosider exemptios where: (a) (b) the compulsory use of hearig protectors might icrease dager overall, outweighig the risk of hearig damage; or it is ot practicable to use hearig protectors meetig the requiremets of regulatio 7(4)(a), as log as people wear the most appropriate hearig protectio. 11 Applicatios for exemptios 125 You should make ay applicatio for exemptio to the authority resposible for eforcig health ad safety legislatio i your premises. If i doubt about who this is, cosult your HSE local office. There is o stadard form, but you will eed to supply full supportig iformatio prepared by someoe with a good uderstadig of the problem ad ways of combatig it, icludig: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) the source of the oise that makes hearig protectors ecessary; what the risk is if your employees use hearig protectors; what you are curretly doig to protect agaist that risk; the existig arragemets for idetifyig idividuals who might have particular difficulty i hearig warig souds (eg because of hearig loss) ad for esurig their safety; how possible it is to reduce oise exposures i the short term ad through a plaed log-term oise-reductio programme; how possible it is to provide alterative safety arragemets (eg for warig employees or reducig the risk). Cotrollig oise at work Page 31 of 130

32 Health ad Safety Guidace How HSE will deal with your applicatio for a exemptio 126 HSE will ackowledge your applicatio promptly ad give you the opportuity to discuss it if you wat. The fial decisio o your applicatio will be give i writig If HSE iteds to vary ay coditios i or revoke a exemptio, usually after a exchage of views, you will be iformed i writig. Regulatio Regulatio 12 Exemptio certificates for emergecy services (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the may, by a certificate i writig, exempt ay perso or class of persos from the provisios of regulatio 6(4) ad regulatio 7(1) to (3) i respect of activities carried out by emergecy services which coflict with the requiremets of ay of those provisios, ad ay such exemptio may be grated subject to coditios ad to a limit of time ad may be revoked by a certificate i writig at ay time. 12 Guidace 12 (2) The shall ot grat such a exemptio uless it is satisfied that the health ad safety of the employees cocered is esured as far as possible i the light of the objectives of these Regulatios. 128 Ay emergecy service wishig to seek exemptio uder this regulatio should cotact HSE for further advice. HSE is likely oly to cosider applicatios made i relatio to a emergecy service as a whole rather tha from local uits. Regulatio Regulatio 13 Exemptios relatig to the Miistry of Defece (1) Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary of State for Defece may, by a certificate i writig, exempt ay perso or class of persos from the provisios of regulatio 6(4) ad regulatio 7(1) to (3) i respect of activities carried out i the iterests of atioal security which coflict with the requiremets of ay of those provisios, ad ay such exemptio may be grated subject to coditios ad to a limit of time ad may be revoked by a certificate i writig at ay time. 13 (2) The Secretary of State shall ot grat such a exemptio uless he is satisfied that the health ad safety of the employees cocered is esured as far as possible i the light of the objectives of these Regulatios. Regulatio Regulatio 14 Extesio outside Great Britai These Regulatios shall apply to ad i relatio to ay activity outside Great Britai to which sectios 1 to 59 ad 80 to 82 of the 1974 Act apply by virtue of the Health ad Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Applicatio Outside Great Britai) Order 2001 (a) as those provisios apply withi Great Britai. 14 (a) SI 2001/2127. Cotrollig oise at work Page 32 of 130

33 Health ad Safety Guidace The Noise Regulatios apply to all work activities o offshore istallatios, wells, pipelies ad pipelies works ad to certai coected activities withi the territorial waters of Great Britai or i the desigated areas of the UK Cotietal Shelf. The Noise Regulatios also apply to certai other activities withi territorial waters, icludig the costructio ad operatio of wid farms. Regulatio Regulatio 15 Revocatios, amedmets ad savigs (1) I (a) (b) regulatio 3(3)(e) of the Persoal Protective Equipmet at Work Regulatios 1992; (a) ad regulatio 12(5)(d) of the Provisio ad Use of Work Equipmet Regulatios 1998, (b) for the referece i each case to the Noise at Work Regulatios 1989 (c) there shall be substituted a referece to these Regulatios. (2) The revocatios listed i Schedule 3 are made with effect from the comig ito force of these Regulatios. (3) I respect of the music ad etertaimet sectors oly, the amedmet ad revocatios i paragraphs (1) ad (2) shall ot come ito force util 6th April 2008 ad the provisios covered by those paragraphs shall cotiue i force, where applicable, util that date. 15 (a) SI 1992/2966. (b) SI 1998/2306. (c) SI 1989/1790. Cotrollig oise at work Page 33 of 130

34 Health ad Safety Schedule Schedule 1 Part 1: Daily persoal oise exposure levels Regulatio 2(1) 1 The daily persoal oise exposure level, L EP,d, which correspods to L EX,8h defied i iteratioal stadard ISO 1999: 1990 clause 3.6, is expressed i decibels ad is ascertaied usig the formula: where L EP,d = L Aeq,T + 10 log 10 T e is the duratio of the perso s workig day, i secods; T 0 is 28,800 secods (8 hours); ad e L Aeq,T is the equivalet cotiuous A-weighted soud pressure level, as defied i ISO 1999: 1990 clause 3.5, i decibels, that represets the soud the perso is exposed to durig the workig day. 2 If the work is such that the daily exposure cosists of two or more periods with differet soud levels, the daily persoal oise exposure level (L EP,d ) for the combiatio of periods is ascertaied usig the formula: ( T e T 0 ) where i= Aeq,T T 0 i i=1 ( ) L EP,d = 10 log 10 1 T i ( L ) is the umber of idividual periods i the workig day; T i is the duratio of period i; (L Aeq,T ) i is the equivalet cotiuous A-weighted soud pressure level that represets the soud the perso is exposed to durig period i; ad i= i=1 T i is equal to T e, the duratio of the perso s workig day, i secods. Part 2: Weekly persoal oise exposure levels Regulatio 2(1) 1 The weekly persoal oise exposure, L EP,w, which correspods to L EX,8h defied i iteratioal stadard ISO 1999: 1990 clause 3.6 (ote 2) for a omial week of five workig days, is expressed i decibels ad is ascertaied usig the formula: i=m 1 L EP,w = 10 log ( L ) ] EP,d ] i=1 i Cotrollig oise at work Page 34 of 130

35 Health ad Safety Schedule where m is the umber of workig days o which the perso is exposed to oise durig a week; ad (L EP,d ) i is the L EP,d for workig day i. Schedule 2 Peak soud pressure level Regulatio 2(1) Peak soud pressure level (L Cpeak ), is expressed i decibels ad is ascertaied usig the formula: where L Cpeak = 20 log 10 [ p Cpeak ] p 0 p Cpeak is the maximum value of the C-weighted soud pressure, i Pascals (Pa), to which a perso is exposed durig the workig day; ad 2 Schedule p 0 = 20 µpa. Schedule 3 Revocatios Regulatio 15(2) 3 Regulatios revoked Refereces Extet of revocatio The Noise at Work Regulatios S.I. 1989/1790 The whole Regulatios 1989 The Quarries Regulatios 1999 S.I. 1999/2024 Schedule 5 Part II isofar as it ameds regulatio 2 of the Noise at Work Regulatios 1989 The Offshore Electricity ad Noise Regulatios 1997 The Persoal Protective Equipmet at Work Regulatios 1992 The Health ad Safety (Safety Sigs ad Sigals) Regulatios 1996 The Offshore Istallatios ad Wells (Desig ad Costructio, etc.) Regulatios 1996 S.I. 1997/1993 Regulatio 3 S.I. 1992/2966 S.I. 1996/341 S.I. 1996/913 Schedule 2 Part IX Schedule 3 Part II paragraph 1(a) ad (b) Schedule 1 paragraph 46(b) ad the word oise i paragraph 59(b) Cotrollig oise at work Page 35 of 130

36 Health ad Safety PART 2: MANAGING NOISE RISKS ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING FOR CONTROL Overview How do I assess the risks to health ad safety from oise at work? How do I decide what to do to cotrol the risks? How do I pla the programme of cotrol measures? 130 Exposure to oise at work ca produce risks to employees health ad safety. You must do all that is reasoably practicable to elimiate these risks, or reduce them to a miimum. To do this effectively requires a systematic approach to the maagemet of oise risks, coverig risk assessmet, plaig how to cotrol risks ad puttig the pla ito actio. Skills ad kowledge 131 To carry out the tasks ivolved i maagig oise risks requires competece (skills ad kowledge) i particular areas. You may have people withi your workforce who have some of the ecessary competecies, or who could acquire them with some traiig. Where the skills ad kowledge for particular tasks are ot available i-house you should call i exteral assistace, such as cosultats, to carry out the work. Part 2 outlies what skills ad kowledge are required at each stage, so that you ca decide o what best suits your eeds ad circumstaces. Assess risks due to oise 132 The process of assessig risks to health ad safety due to oise exposure is i five stages: Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Is there risk due to oise? Who might be harmed ad how? Evaluate the risks ad develop a pla to cotrol them. Record the fidigs. Review the risk assessmet. Stage 1 Is there risk due to oise? Skills ad kowledge required Uderstad the work goig o. Uderstad how risks ca arise from oise exposure. Be able to idetify potetially problematic oise sources. Be able to obtai ad uderstad oise iformatio from machiery suppliers. 133 Your first step i maagig oise risks is to decide whether the oise to which your employees are exposed may lead to risks to their health ad safety. 134 Idetifyig whether there are oise risks should ot be treated as a complex task. You should be able to come to a decisio quite quickly usig what you kow Cotrollig oise at work Page 36 of 130

37 Health ad Safety about your busiess ad the work that your employees do or by makig simple observatios i the workplace. If you ca aswer yes to ay of questios i the Noise hazard checklist, you probably have oise risks which eed maagig. Noise hazard checklist Do you work i a oisy idustry, eg costructio, demolitio or road repair; woodworkig; plastics processig; egieerig; textile maufacture; geeral fabricatio; forgig, pressig or stampig; paper or board makig; caig or bottlig plat; foudries? Do your employees use oisy powered tools or machiery for more tha half a hour each day i total? Are there oises due to impacts (such as hammerig, drop forgig, peumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detoators, or gus? Are there areas of the workplace where oise levels could iterfere with warig or dager sigals? Listeig checks Are employees exposed to oise which makes it ecessary to shout to talk to someoe 1 m away, for more tha about half a hour per day i total? The oise level here is probably 90 db or more. Are employees exposed to oise which makes it ecessary to shout to talk to someoe 2 m away, for more tha about two hours per day i total? The oise level here is probably 85 db or more. Is coversatio at 2 m possible, but oise is itrusive - comparable to a busy street, a typical vacuum cleaer or a crowded restaurat - for more tha about six hours per day i total? The oise level here is probably 80 db or more. 135 You could also use the iformatio provided by machiery suppliers as a idicatio of whether there is likely to be a oise problem. Suppliers of machiery are legally required to provide iformatio o the oise emissios from their machiery (see Appedix 4). 136 Ay audible soud should be cosidered as oise ad be part of a perso s oise exposure. This icludes speech, music, oise from commuicatio devices or persoal stereos, as well as the oise of machiery ad work processes. 137 Your employees may be at risk from the oise created by people who are ot your employees, eg if your employees visit other workplaces, or work i places where a umber of differet employers are carryig out work (eg o a costructio site). I these cases you will eed to exchage iformatio with ay other employers cocered to decide whether there are oise risks. Similarly, you should provide iformatio to other employers who have employees who may be affected by the work you are doig. 138 If you decide that you do have oise risks that eed to be maaged, the you will eed to go o to evaluate those risks ad pla how you will cotrol them. If you are i ay doubt as to whether there are oise risks, it is advised that you assume there are, ad proceed accordigly. 139 If you are satisfied that your employees are ot at risk from oise, you should documet this coclusio as part of your geeral risk assessmet procedures. If circumstaces chage which may affect the oise exposure of your employees you will eed to review this coclusio. Cotrollig oise at work Page 37 of 130

38 Health ad Safety Stage 2 Who might be harmed ad how? Skills ad kowledge required Uderstad all work goig o. Uderstad ad be able to idetify potetial for harm ad factors which ifluece risk, icludig but ot limited to the list i regulatio 5(3). 140 You should idetify which employees are likely to be affected by the oise ad how. You will already have some idea of which employees are at risk, but you eed to esure that all employees at risk have bee idetified. For example, cosider ot just the perso operatig a oisy tool or machie, but also other people workig earby who may also be affected. Cosider also people who move betwee differet jobs or types of work durig the day, ad make sure you uderstad their patters of oise exposure. Remember to iclude people who are ot your employees but who may be affected by the work you do, eg visitors or subcotractors workig o your site or alogside your employees. 141 I cosiderig the potetial for people to be harmed, you maily eed to thik about hearig damage (deafess, tiitus or other hearig problems). But you also eed to cosider risks to safety which ca arise from workig i a oisy eviromet, such as oise iterferig with commuicatios, warig sigals ad the ability to pick up audible sigs of dager. These risks to safety may be more closely related to the level of oise at a particular poit i time rather tha to daily persoal oise exposure. 142 You will eed to take ito accout employees with pre-existig hearig coditios, those with a family history of deafess (if kow), pregat wome ad youg people. Stage 3 Evaluate the risks ad develop a pla to cotrol them Skills ad kowledge required Be able to estimate oise exposure ad make judgemets o likely exposure. Uderstad exposure actio ad limit values, ad kow what legal duties apply. Obtai ad uderstad good practice ad idustry stadards for oise cotrol. Be able to prioritise cotrols ad tackle immediate risks. Recogise where specific skills are required, ad be able to access further competet advice. 143 To evaluate the risks from oise you eed to assess the oise exposure of your employees, i terms of daily or weekly persoal oise exposure ad exposure to peak oise. You the eed to compare your assessmet of exposure with the actio ad limit values set out i the Noise Regulatios (regulatio 4). 144 The results of this compariso, i combiatio with cosideratio of other relevat risk factors ad iformatio o the sources ad circumstaces of oise exposure, will determie your legal duties uder the Noise Regulatios, ad allow you to evaluate whether risks from oise exposure are reduced to the lowest level reasoably practicable. You ca the begi to develop a actio pla to cotrol risks from oise. Cotrollig oise at work Page 38 of 130

39 Health ad Safety Assess exposure to oise 145 To assess a worker s daily persoal oise exposure you eed iformatio o: the average oise level (L Aeq ) to which the worker is exposed durig the tasks which make up the workig day; ad the legth of time the worker speds o each of the tasks. 146 Where workers are regularly exposed to steady oise throughout the workig day (eg i a weavig shed), or to itermittet but regular periods of steady oise (eg the operator of a automatic lathe), estimatig exposure is relatively straightforward. For situatios where exposures are irregular, where workers itermittetly use a variety of differet machies, or sped time i differet areas, determiig a typical or likely exposure ca be more complex. It is advisable to adopt a worst-case approach i these situatios. 147 You are ot required to make a highly precise assessmet of oise exposure. However, your estimate of exposure must be reliable, ad precise eough for you to be able to assess whether ay exposure actio values are likely to be exceeded. 148 To demostrate that your estimate is reliable, you must be able to show that you used data which is represetative of your employees exposure to oise uder the specific circumstaces of their exposure, takig accout of their particular work practices, ad that you took accout of ucertaities. Ucertaities may arise from measuremet ad samplig techiques, how represetative the data sources are, ad variatios i the work. Determie the oise level 149 The average oise level (L Aeq ) may be derived from measuremets made i your workplace. It may also be derived from other sources of data, such as published iformatio o oise levels or iformatio from machiery maufacturers ad suppliers (see Part 4). The most importat factor is how represetative the data are of your work situatio. If you use data that are ot based o measuremets i your workplace, you are likely to have to make more effort to demostrate that the data are represetative ad apply a greater ucertaity factor. You may fid it helpful to arrive at a first approximatio of the oise levels from other sources of data, resortig to measuremets where you fid that you caot reliably say whether ay exposure actio values are exceeded. 150 Advice o measurig oise exposure i the workplace is give i Appedix 1. Iformatio o the evaluatio of peak oise exposure is give i Appedix 2. Determie the duratio of exposure 151 The best way to determie how log people are exposed to levels of oise durig their work is by direct observatio of the work goig o, ad discussios with employees ad their supervisors. 152 Whe determiig a appropriate value for duratio to estimate oise exposure, you eed to take accout of how the iformatio o oise levels was obtaied. This is particularly importat if oise exposures are itermittet or cyclic durig a particular task or job. For example, if the oise level iformatio is a average relatig to the whole job withi which the itermittet or cyclic exposures occur, the the duratio of exposure should be determied as the duratio of that job durig the workig day. If, however, the oise level iformatio is based o the level durig the period that the oise is preset, the the duratio of exposure Cotrollig oise at work Page 39 of 130

40 Health ad Safety should be determied as the legth of time that the itermittet or cyclic oise is preset. Determie daily oise exposure 153 Schedule 1 Part 1 to the Noise Regulatios sets out the mathematical relatioship betwee time-averaged oise level ad daily exposure, ad provides a formula for combiig oise exposure from multiple tasks to calculate the daily persoal oise exposure. I Schedule 1 Part 2 a formula for calculatig weekly oise exposure is give. Electroic spreadsheets are available o the HSE website which do these calculatios for you (www.hse.gov.uk/oise). Simple methods for determiig daily ad weekly persoal oise exposure usig ready-reckoers are give i paragraphs Noise exposure ready-reckoer 154 Table 2 shows a ready-reckoer that provides a simple way of workig out the daily persoal oise exposure of employees, based o the level of oise ad duratio of exposure. It ca be used for situatios where the level of oise is steady throughout the day, or where oise exposure is variable throughout the day due to differet jobs or the type of work beig doe. It provides a way of workig out oise exposure poits for idividual jobs that ca be combied to give the total exposure poits for a day, ad so fidig out the daily exposure. Additioally, oise exposure poits ca be used to prioritise the oise-cotrol programme, by showig which jobs or tasks make the greatest cotributio to the total oise exposure. Tacklig these oise sources will have the greatest effect i reducig persoal oise exposures. 155 Noise exposure poits are similar to the fractioal exposure values that have appeared i previous HSE guidace o oise at work. Noise exposure poits have replaced fractioal exposures because they more readily apply to the exposure actio values i the Noise Regulatios To covert from fractioal exposure values to oise exposure poits, multiply the fractioal exposure by I the oise exposure poits scheme, the upper exposure actio value (a L EP,d of 85 db) is 100 poits, ad the lower exposure actio value (a L EP,d of 80 db) is 32 poits. 157 The left sectio of Table 2 shows how oise level ad duratio of exposure are combied to give oise exposure poits. The right sectio is used to covert total exposure poits to daily persoal exposure. A worked example usig the ready-reckoer is also show i Table The values i the tables have bee rouded. Differeces itroduced by roudig will ot sigificatly affect the results of your estimate of oise exposure. Cotrollig oise at work Page 40 of 130

41 Health ad Safety Soud pressure level, L Aeq (db) Duratio of exposure (hours) 1 / 4 1 / Total exposure poits Noise exposure L EP,d (db) Table 2 Noise exposure ready-reckoer Cotrollig oise at work Page 41 of 130

42 Health ad Safety Noise exposure poits Worked example A employee has the followig typical work patter: five hours workig where a listeig check (see Noise hazard checklist ) suggests the oise level is aroud 80 db; two hours at a machie for which the maufacturer has declared 86 db at the operator positio (a listeig check suggests this is about right); 45 miutes o a task where oise measuremets have show 95 db to be typical. Noise level Duratio Notes Exposure poits 80 5 hrs No colum for 5 hours, so add together values from 4 ad 1 hour colums i row correspodig to 80 db = hrs Directly from table miutes No colum for 45 miutes, so add together values from 30 ad 15 miute colums i row correspodig to 95 db = 97 Total oise exposure poits 149 L EP,d 86 to 87 db Cotrollig oise at work Page 42 of 130

43 Health ad Safety Soud pressure level, L Aeq (db) Duratio of exposure (hours) 1 / 4 1 / Total exposure poits Noise exposure L EP,d (db) } Table 3 Worked example of oise exposure ready-reckoer This patter of oise exposures gives a L EP,d of betwee 86 ad 87 db. The priority for oise cotrol or risk reductio is the task ivolvig exposure to 95 db for 45 miutes, sice this gives the highest idividual oise exposure poits. Weekly oise exposure ready-reckoer 159 I the circumstaces outlied i Part 1 (see paragraphs 27-29) the weekly oise exposure level rather tha a daily exposure level ca be used as a idicator of risk. 160 The weekly oise exposure level (L EP,w ) takes accout of the daily persoal oise exposures for the umber of days worked i a week (up to a maximum of seve days). It may be calculated usig the formula give i Schedule 1 Part 2 of the Regulatios. A ready-reckoer for calculatig weekly exposure from the daily exposures for up to seve days is give i Table 4. A electroic spreadsheet for calculatig weekly exposure ca be foud o the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk/ oise). Cotrollig oise at work Page 43 of 130

44 Health ad Safety Daily oise exposure, L EP,d Poits Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Total exposure poits Weekly oise exposure, L EP,w Table 4 Weekly exposure ready-reckoer Cotrollig oise at work Page 44 of 130

45 Health ad Safety Compare exposure to the exposure actio values ad fid what duties apply 161 You eed to compare your estimates of exposure agaist the lower ad upper exposure actio values to determie what specific duties apply to you i respect of your employees. Specific duties uder regulatios 6 (cotrol of oise), 7 (hearig protectio) ad 10 (iformatio, istructio ad traiig) apply where particular exposure actio values are likely to be exceeded. 162 To decide the likelihood of exposure actio values beig exceeded you will eed to take accout of the ucertaities i your estimate of exposure. If you estimate exposure as beig close to a exposure actio value you should proceed as if the actio value has bee exceeded. 163 The likelihood of exposure actio values beig exceeded ca deped o whether particular jobs or activities take place o a daily, weekly or less frequet basis. For example, certai tasks may produce very high oise exposures but may be carried out ifrequetly. You must cosider whether, if you assessed the oise exposure o a particular day, that day was represetative of a typical day for that employee. Where workers tasks vary from day to day, you should compare exposure at least from typical ad worst-case workig days agaist the exposure actio values, ad evaluate risks takig accout of the patter of daily exposure. Are the risks as low as is reasoably practicable? 164 If employees oise exposure is below the lower exposure actio values, the risk of hearig damage is likely to be very small. What you eed to do i these cases is make sure that the risks remai at this low level. By uderstadig why the risks are low, you will be better able to make sure that they remai that way, ad to kow whe chages i the workplace could lead to icreased risks. Make a record of your curret situatio, ad make sure you have proper systems of maiteace, supervisio ad maagemet i place to keep o top of the situatio. If there are simple measures that ca be take to reduce oise further, it is recommeded that you carry them out. Cosider your geeral duties to cotrol oise risks 165 At this stage i the process of evaluatig risks you should have a good uderstadig of the level of risk, the circumstaces uder which the risks occur ad the sources of risk. You will have idetified what specific duties apply i relatio to the exposure actio values. But you should keep i mid the geeral duty uder regulatio 6(1) to reduce risk to the lowest level reasoably practicable. 166 This meas you eed to cosider, i your evaluatio of risks, alterative processes, equipmet ad/or workig methods which would make the work quieter or mea people are exposed for shorter times. You should be aware of curret good practice or the stadard for oise cotrol withi your idustry, cosiderig whether such measures are applicable to your work ad adoptig them where it is reasoably practicable to do so (see paragraphs ). 167 You should also cosider whether suitable replacemet machiery is available which emits lower levels of oise or would lead to lower levels of oise exposure for particular tasks where employees oise exposure is iflueced by oise emissios from tools ad machiery which you supply for use at work. For example, if a more efficiet tool allows work to be carried out i less time, it may lead to lower oise exposures without ecessarily emittig less oise durig use. Implemetig a policy o the purchase ad hire of tools ad machiery which icludes cosideratio of oise would allow you to address these issues. Cotrollig oise at work Page 45 of 130

46 Health ad Safety 168 Also, i evaluatig risks you should idetify where maiteace of tools, machiery ad equipmet is importat to esure that oise levels do ot icrease over time. Whe cosiderig maiteace systems, you should cosider the eed to miimise oise emissios for these items as part of your geeral duty to cotrol oise risks. Cotrol of oise exposures Good practice ad idustry stadards Cosider the basic cotrols 169 There are may ways of cotrollig oise. Basic oise-cotrol measures ca ofte be effective i reducig the oise produced by a machie or process, or the oise exposure of employees. You will fid advice o a rage of oise-cotrol measures ad their field of applicatio i Part 3. May of these measures are likely to meet the test of reasoable practicability ie the costs (time, trouble, expese) arisig from puttig them i place will ot grossly outweigh the beefits. You should cosider implemetig these basic measures. Where solutios are kow the idustry stadard 170 For a lot of machies ad processes, there are well-kow oise-cotrol solutios. HSE publishes free iformatio o cotrollig oise i processes associated with egieerig, woodworkig, food ad drik, costructio, foudries ad agriculture, as well as case study examples of oise cotrol. See HSE s website to view free publicatios. There are also other sources of iformatio, for example trade associatios. Where such idustry stadard oise-cotrol measures could be applied or adapted to reduce oise exposures i your workplace, the you should put them i place, uless you ca show that to do so would ot be reasoably practicable. 171 Ay good practices you put i place should be documeted ad properly plaed, resourced ad carried out. They should be subject to maiteace procedures ad periodic review, as appropriate. Cosider the exposure limit values 172 Whe evaluatig the risks to your employees from oise, you eed to take accout of the exposure limit values. These are limits set both i terms of daily or weekly persoal oise exposure (L EP,d or L EP,w of 87 db) ad peak oise (L Cpeak of 140 db). I checkig that you have ot exceeded the exposure limit values you ca take accout of the protectio provided by persoal hearig protectio. Appedix 3 gives geeral advice o how to estimate the protectio provided by hearig protectors, ad Appedix 2 cotais specific advice i relatio to peak oise. 173 If your risk assessmet shows that ay of your employees are exposed above either of the exposure limit values, you must take immediate actio. If the employees are ot provided with ad wearig hearig protectio, you should straight away provide them with hearig protectio which will at least reduce their exposure to below the limit value, as log as persoal hearig protectio will be effective. If the exposure limit values are exceeded, eve takig accout of the hearig protectio, the you should reduce exposure immediately, eve if that meas stoppig the work. 174 Havig dealt with the immediate problem of the limit value beig exceeded, you should the idetify the reasos why this happeed, ad put measures ad systems i place to esure that it does ot happe agai. You will eed to Cotrollig oise at work Page 46 of 130

47 Health ad Safety review ay oise-cotrol ad risk-reductio measures you already have i place, the suitability of ay hearig protectio you have supplied, ad the systems for esurig that hearig protectio ad ay oise-cotrol measures are properly used ad maitaied. 175 The exposure limit values take accout of the effect of hearig protectio, but they should ot be used as a target for the performace of hearig protectio. The Noise Regulatios require that where hearig protectors are used they should elimiate the risks, or reduce risks to as low a level as is reasoably practicable. Part 5 gives guidace o selectig appropriate hearig protectio. Develop a actio pla 176 Your oise actio pla provides the vital lik betwee the risk assessmet ad cotrol of the risks idetified. It is a importat output of the oise risk assessmet, ad ca be thought of as a statemet of itet. It should set out a prioritised pla for ivestigatig ad itroducig oise-cotrol ad risk-reductio measures, ad ay other measures required by the Noise Regulatios. It should also list what you have doe to cotrol risks durig the assessmet process, eg actios you took to tackle the immediate risk, or those basic oise-cotrol measures which you were able to put i place immediately. It is importat to record ot oly what you have doe, but also what you ited to do, so that all measures ca be icluded i ay subsequet review. The iformatio you have gathered to carry out your risk assessmet will help you to make your decisios about the actio pla. 177 The actio pla should cotai the followig: A list of what you have doe to tackle the immediate risks (eg providig appropriately selected hearig protectio as a temporary measure where the upper exposure actio values are exceeded, or takig actio if the exposure limit values are exceeded). The actios you are cosiderig regardig your geeral duty to reduce risks, icludig: ivestigatig the applicability of basic oise-cotrol measures ad relevat idustry stadards i oise cotrol; implemetig a positive hire ad purchase policy; maiteace systems ecessary to esure miimum oise emissios from plat etc. Your plas to develop a programme of oise-reductio measures, where exposure to oise exceeds the upper exposure actio values, icludig how you will explore ad prioritise optios for cotrollig oise exposure cotrol. How you will provide suitable hearig protectio, ad set up hearig protectio zoes. Arragemets for providig iformatio, istructio ad traiig for employees, icludig traiig o oise hazards ad iformatio o the measures that you have or will put i place to miimise risks. Arragemets for providig health surveillace. Realistic time-scales for the work to be carried out. Assigmet of tasks to amed people or post holders withi the compay to be resposible for the various tasks. Assigmet of a amed perso or post holder to be resposible, overall, for makig sure that the pla is competetly carried out. 178 The people resposible for the pla ad the tasks withi it should have eough authority, cotrol ad ifluece withi the compay to eable them to carry Cotrollig oise at work Page 47 of 130

48 Health ad Safety out their part of the pla properly. They may also eed access to competet advice or competet services, ad this eed should be highlighted i the actio pla. 179 Your priorities for actio will ievitably be iflueced by cost. Some oisecotrol measures ca be expesive, ad you may wish to assig these to a medium-term priority, depedig o the degree of risk ad protectio available for employees i the meatime. However, there are may low- or o-cost cotrol measures that could be implemeted immediately. Stage 4 Record the fidigs Skills ad kowledge required Uderstad what iformatio to record, how ad why to record it. 180 You should record the major fidigs of your risk assessmet, ad your actio pla. The major fidigs are your estimates of daily persoal oise exposure ad peak oise exposure, your aalysis of the risks ad whether they are as low as reasoably practicable, ay other iformatio o which you based the evaluatio of risks ad the decisios o actios required uder the Noise Regulatios. The record will provide some evidece for the decisios that you made to comply with the law. A miimum adequate record will iclude details of: the workplaces, areas, jobs or people icluded i the assessmet, icludig a descriptio of the work goig o; the date(s) that the assessmet was made; the daily persoal oise exposures of the employees or groups of employees cocered; the peak oise exposure levels of the employees or groups of employees cocered; the iformatio used to determie oise exposure; if oise measuremets have bee made, relevat details of the measuremets, icludig the perso(s) resposible for carryig them out; ay further iformatio used to evaluate risks; the ame of the perso(s) resposible for makig the risk assessmet; your actio pla to cotrol oise risks. Stage 5 Review the risk assessmet Skills ad kowledge required Kow i what circumstaces to review the assessmet. 181 Your risk assessmet should be reviewed if: there is ay reaso to thik that it does ot reflect the curret oise risk i your workplace. For example, if you chage the way you work or the processes you use, brig i ew machiery, stop usig older machiery or alter shift patters, the oise exposures of your employees are likely to chage; you become aware (eg through trade jourals, idustry groups or HSE publicatios) of ew ways of workig or improved oise-cotrol techiques that could be applied to your workplace; you have itroduced oise-cotrol measures followig a previous assessmet ad eed to determie their impact o employees exposure; health surveillace shows that employees hearig is beig damaged, suggestig that oise risks are ot beig properly cotrolled; Cotrollig oise at work Page 48 of 130

49 Health ad Safety cotrol measures that could ot be justified whe you origially coducted your risk assessmet (probably o the grouds of costs) become reasoably practicable, eg because of chages i techology ad cost. 182 A reassessmet will ofte be simpler or ivolve less work tha the origial risk assessmet. It is sesible to itegrate it with other health ad safety maagemet activities, so that it is part of a ogoig programme which should pick up chages as they occur. 183 Eve if you cosider there have bee o chages you should check every two years whether there is a eed to review your risk assessmet. Competet advice ad services 184 This book tells you at various stages the ecessary skills ad kowledge required to assess ad maage oise risks. Where you do ot have those skills ad kowledge, or access to them from people withi your workforce, the you will eed to go outside the compay for advice. I the loger term you may wish to orgaise some traiig for yourself or your employees i these areas, so that i the future you would have access to the ecessary skills ad kowledge i-house. 185 Whether carryig out the work yourself, appoitig other people, or a combiatio of the two, you eed to make sure that the assessmet ad maagemet of oise risks is carried out i a competet maer based o competet advice. This meas makig sure that all people ivolved i the process have the ecessary traiig ad experiece to carry out their part of the work. The ability to uderstad ad apply this guidace may be more importat tha formal qualificatios. But there are some areas (such as oise-cotrol egieerig) where the perso providig the advice would be expected to have formal qualificatios. Traiig courses 186 A variety of short traiig courses is available orgaised both o a atioal basis ad to meet local requiremets. For example, courses orgaised o a atioal basis through techical istitutios iclude sessios desiged to provide traiig for the purposes of the Noise Regulatios. Traiig o oise is also available i modules formig part of more geeral courses. 187 To provide cost-effective advice o egieerig cotrol, the perso would eed to make a more thorough study of the priciples of oise-cotrol egieerig. Some uiversities ad techical istitutes provide specialised courses at a rage of levels, ad geeral courses o oise cotrol egieerig are available (see also paragraphs ). Cotrollig oise at work Page 49 of 130

50 Health ad Safety PART 3: PRACTICAL NOISE CONTROL Overview What are the practical steps to cotrol oise? What are the mai oise-cotrol techiques? How do I avoid commo problems? Where might I eed further advice? 188 Part 3 gives practical advice for employers o the optios available for cotrollig oise. Basic techiques ad methods for cotrollig oise are described, with examples. It is ot iteded as a exhaustive treatmet o oise cotrol. More detailed ad specific guidace for particular idustries ad machies ca be foud i other HSE guidace (www.hse.gov.uk). 189 Some oise-cotrol techiques are simple to put i place. Others require specialist skills ad kowledge. There is the potetial to misdirect effort, time ad moey i applyig the wrog type of oise-cotrol techique ad therefore cosultatio with specialist oise-cotrol egieers is ofte required. 190 The Noise Regulatios give priority to the cotrol of oise by techical or orgaisatioal meas, as opposed to providig persoal hearig protectio because: oise cotrol is usually the most cost-effective solutio for the loger term; cotrol of the oise risk at source protects a greater umber of people i the surroudig workig eviromet; persoal hearig protectors protect oly the idividual wearer ad do ot always give the protectio expected. 191 You ca make a positive cotributio to oise cotrol by makig arragemets for effective cotrols. However, you should be aware of your limitatios ad uderstad whe you eed to take further advice. Noise cotrol is ot ecessarily difficult or expesive. Effective, simple cotrols are available that ca be carried out i-house. 192 You should cosider the methods of cotrollig oise i the followig order: Ca risks be elimiated by doig the work i a differet way, elimiatig or miimisig exposure to oise? Ca the work, process or machie be modified to reduce oise emissios? Is it possible to replace the tools ad equipmet used with lower oise alteratives? Ca the workplace ad workflow be arraged to separate people from the oise? Ca the oise reachig people be reduced by cotrollig it o its path from the source? Cotrollig oise at work Page 50 of 130

51 Health ad Safety A oise-cotrol checklist Fid out what ad where the problem is ad who is affected Your risk assessmet will have established who is exposed to oise ad it will have highlighted tools, machies ad processes that cause the oise exposure. With a little further ivestigatio you ca ofte idetify the part of a machie that is resposible for producig the oise. This ca be doe by: observig ad listeig to the machie i questio; idetifyig if parts of the machie are vibratig, which may be the source of the oise; treatig the most domiat oise source first (there is little poit i treatig the easiest or cheapest first if it is ot the mai source of the oise); targetig cotrol i areas where most employees work. Cosider the source of oise Is it cost effective to replace the machie by oe with lower oise emissios? Could the machie be moved to a area with fewer employees without disruptig productio? Is the machie beig properly maitaied? Is it possible to modify parts of the machie, eg by replacig compoets with oes desiged to operate more quietly without affectig the safe operatio of the machie? Cosider how the oise source radiates oise Are the machie s paels vibratig? Isolate the paels or add dampig materials to them. Is the machie vibratio eterig the structure of the buildig (walls or floor)? Isolate the machie from the buildig with isolatio mouts or isolated foudatios. Is the oise caused by impacts from fallig material? Add dampig material to receivig trays ad chutes or reduce the distace the material falls. Are solid guards attached to the machie aroud oisy compoets? Lie the guards with soud-absorbig material ad where possible seal gaps takig accout of the eed for vetilatio. Is the major oise source caused by either the ilet or exhaust of air or gas from the machie? Fit a appropriate silecer to the ilet, exhaust or both. Is the oise caused by the sudde release of air from a compressed air system? Fit silecers or feed the exhaust away from the workig area. Cotrollig oise at work Page 51 of 130

52 Health ad Safety Cosider the path of the oise Could you positio the worker away from the source of oise? Doublig the distace ca reduce the effect of the oise by 3 to 6 db. Could you fit a suitably desiged eclosure aroud a machie that does ot require hads o operatio? Could you acoustically treat opeigs i the machiery or its eclosure ito which material is placed or from which the product is removed? Could you fit acoustic ducts or quiet fas i eclosures where there may be a build-up of heat? Could you build a oise have for employees supervisig the operatio of large machies where eclosig the whole machie would be difficult? Could you erect barriers or screes betwee differet elemets i the productio process, separatig quiet operatios from oisy oes? Ca absorptive materials be added to the buildig to reduce the reverberat oise (echoes)? Is the oise level costat ad made up of low-frequecy toes (eg, from fas ad dryers)? If so, cosider usig active oise cotrol. Remember to check that oise levels have improved after the oise cotrol has bee fitted 193 Noise cotrol ca be divided ito a umber of basic methods, icludig orgaisatioal cotrols, workplace desig, buyig low-oise machiery, machie desig, providig eclosures, screes, barriers ad refuges, dampig, isolatio ad fittig silecers. Orgaisatioal cotrols Pla ad orgaise the work to reduce oise exposures 194 The way you pla, orgaise ad lay out your work processes ca have a effect o the oise exposure of idividual employees, as ca the tools ad machies you use. Job desig 195 Noisy devices should oly be used whe they are actually eeded. For example, the peumatic ejector o a power press eed be o oly for the short time required to eject the product; the air supply should be pulsed to operate oly whe the product eeds removig. Job rotatio 196 Where some employees do oisy jobs all day, ad others do quieter oes, cosider itroducig job rotatio. This might eed you to trai employees to carry out other jobs. You should be aware that this system will reduce the oise exposure of some employees while icreasig that of others, so care ad judgemet is eeded. I additio, employees will eed to be rotated away from oisy jobs for a sigificat proportio of time to make a appreciable differece to their daily exposure. This is because daily exposure is domiated by time i oisy areas. Differet ways of workig 197 Chages i techology ca alter the machie or process, resultig i a lower oise exposure to the workforce. Sometimes a differet way of workig might Cotrollig oise at work Page 52 of 130

53 Health ad Safety avoid the eed for a oisy operatio. Examples of quieter processes, machies ad activities iclude: Chage of process Use break-stem rivets istead of hot rivets set by traditioal oisy hammerig. Use welded or bolted costructio istead of riveted costructio i large-scale fabricatios. Chage of machie Use hydraulic pressig of bearigs ito a castig istead of beig drive i by hammerig. Replace maual turig lathes o repetitive productio with computercotrolled automatic machies which ofte have guards that offer some oise reductio ad mea the operator eeds to sped less time close to the source of the oise. Replace oisy compressed-air tools with hydraulic alteratives. Chage of activity Improve the quality of maufacturig to avoid later rework with potetially oisy processes, eg more accurate cuttig of steel plate may elimiate oisy reworkig with griders or air chisels. Chage the desig of costructio to avoid oisy processes (eg use retardig compouds to avoid scabblig cocrete). Workplace desig Desig ad lay out the workplace for reduced oise exposure 198 Whe cosiderig a ew workplace or modifyig a existig oe, oise emissios ad oise exposure ca be limited by careful choice of desig, layout ad the costructio materials used for the buildig. For example, the appropriate use of absorptio materials withi the buildig ca reduce or limit the effects of reflected soud (specialist help will be eeded to put this ito effect). 199 Noise risk maagemet is a lot easier if you limit the umber of employees exposed. Careful plaig could segregate oisy machies from other areas where quiet operatios are carried out, reducig the eed for oise cotrol after the workplace is i operatio (see also the sectio o screes ad barriers). The umber of employees workig i oisy areas should be kept to a miimum. 200 Whe cosiderig usig oise-absorbig materials to chage the acoustic characteristics of a work area remember: evirometal ad workplace factors: absorptio materials are available i forms which are desiged to withstad physical impacts, ad ca be adapted to hygieic eviromets or where absorptio of oil, water etc may be a problem; there may be a reductio i the atural light if absorptio is placed i the roof; addig absorbet materials to walls ad ceilig areas will oly affect the reflected, reverberat soud ot the direct path of soud. Cotrollig oise at work Page 53 of 130

54 Health ad Safety Steel claddig Direct soud Reduced soud Quiet operatios Brick Noisy machie Partitio Figure 2 Noise paths foud i a workplace. The quiet area is subjected to reflected oise from a machie somewhere else i the buildig Absorptio (acoustic) Direct soud Reduced soud Figure 3 The correct use of absorptio i the roof will reduce the reflected oise reachig the quiet area Direct soud Reduced soud Widow Noisy machie eclosed with iteral absorptio Figure 4 Segregatio of the oisy operatio will beefit the whole workplace Cotrollig oise at work Page 54 of 130

55 Health ad Safety Low-oise machies 201 Selectio of low-oise tools ad machiery through a positive purchasig ad hire policy ca avoid the eed to apply retrofit oise cotrol. This could be the sigle most cost-effective, log-term measure you ca take to reduce oise at work. Part 4 gives advice o selectig low-oise tools ad machiery. 202 Your positive oise-reductio purchasig policy could ivolve: preparig a machie specificatio. Draw your suppliers attetio to the requiremets of the Supply of Machiery (Safety) Regulatios (see Part 4). Itroduce your ow compay oise limit, ie a realistic low-oise emissio level that you are prepared to accept from icomig plat ad equipmet give your circumstaces ad plaed machie use; comparig the oise iformatio declared by the maufacturer to idetify lowoise machies; requirig a statemet from all compaies who are tederig or supplyig, sayig if their machiery will meet your compay oise limit specificatio; discussig oise issues with the supplier of the machie. This may ifluece the desig of future low-oise machies; where it is ecessary to purchase oisy machiery, keepig a record of the reasos for decisios made to help with the preparatio of future machie specificatios with iformatio o where improvemets are ecessary; usig a agreed format for the presetatio of results by suppliers; discussig your machiery eeds ad oise emissio levels with your safety or employee represetatives(s). Machie desig Chage the total or partial desig of a machie, compoet or process 203 Machies ad processes ca be re-desiged to geerate less oise. This is somethig you could cosider for existig machiery; ew machiery should already be desiged to produce as little oise as possible (see Part 4). Chages to the desig of machies are likely to require some specialist advice from oise cotrol egieers. Some particular examples of desig chages are detailed i paragraphs Air turbulece oise 204 Whe ay rotatig part such as a fa blade or a woodworkig cutter block passes close to a statioary part of the machie, oise is produced. If the distace betwee the rotatig part ad the statioary part is icreased, the oise level will be reduced. Also if cutter blocks are fitted which have helical blades, the smooth trasitio of the curved cuttig edge ext to the statioary table istead of the abrupt impact of a ormal blade will reduce the oise cosiderably. 205 CAUTION: Gaps betwee statioary ad rotatig parts of machiery are dagerous. You should ot alter gaps without esurig that the machiery ca be used without risks to safety. 206 Whe air flows past a object or over sharp edges, turbulece is caused which produces oise. Also whe air flows over cavities or voids a oise toe ca be produced (similar to blowig over a milk bottle). Makig edges as smooth as possible ad removig voids or roudig the edges ca reduce the level of oise created. Similarly, air flowig smoothly through ducts ad pipes will produce less oise. Cotrollig oise at work Page 55 of 130

56 Health ad Safety Figure 5 Slotted table lips o a plaer reduce air turbulece ad oise Figure 6 Reduced-oise cutter block Avoidig impacts 207 Noise geerated by impacts, icludig compoets fallig ito chutes, bis ad hoppers, ad impacts geerated by toolig ca be cosiderable. Try to reduce the speed ad/or height of fallig objects ad avoid impacts, or make arragemets to cushio them, eg: fit buffers o stops ad rubber or plastic surface coatigs o chutes, to avoid metal-to-metal impacts; apply a progressive cuttig edge to puch toolig o power presses to reduce the impact oise; use coveyor systems, desiged to prevet the compoets beig trasported from impactig agaist each other. 208 Try to limit or reduce the drop heights of compoets. For example, compoets which are produced by pressigs ad are ejected ad the dropped ito a collectig bi ca cause high oise levels. Reducig the force of the impact ca reduce the oise levels. Cotrollig oise at work Page 56 of 130

57 Health ad Safety Drop height Hopper Drop height Hopper Heavy duty abrasio resistat ier ski Cotiue liig over areas where impact occurs Figure 7 Reduced drop heights ad cushioed impacts reduce oise Figure 8 Liig of a bowl feeder with rubber for reduced impact oise Cotrollig oise at work Page 57 of 130

58 Health ad Safety Eclosure Placig a soud-proof cover over the source of oise 209 Noisy machies ca be eclosed fully, or a partial eclosure or a acoustic cover ca be placed aroud a oisy part of a machie. Figure 9 outlies the features required of a typical machie eclosure. Ispectio widow Work etry/delivery via treated feed ducts Suitably atteuated coolig air supply/ discharge Demoutable pael to be sealed to form airtight seal for occasioal access Sig warig that hearig protectio is eeded iside Persoel door (if ecessary) Routie access (higed pael) Ier liig of soud absorbig material ad outer ski of isulatig material Figure 9 Features required of a typical machie eclosure 210 A efficiet oise eclosure will provide: a good quality dese isulatig barrier to stop the oise from escapig (steel, brick etc); soud-absorbig material o the iside to reduce the reflectios ad therefore reduce the build-up of oise i the eclosure; double-glazed viewig widows; good seals aroud opeigs small leaks ca dramatically reduce the effectiveess of the eclosure; self-closig devices o ay doors; absorbet-lied coolig ducts; absorbet-lied ilets ad outlets for materials ad services. 211 CAUTION: Eclosig machiery is likely to icrease the temperature of the air iside the eclosure. Always provide adequate vetilatio ad coolig. Screes ad barriers Placig a obstacle betwee the oise source ad the people 212 Screes, barriers or walls ca be placed betwee the source of the oise ad the people to stop or reduce the direct soud. Barriers should be costructed from a dese material, eg brick or sheet steel, although chipboard ad plasterboard ca be used. Cotrollig oise at work Page 58 of 130

59 Health ad Safety Figure 10 Moveable acoustic scree i a egieerig workshop 213 Screes ad barriers work best whe they are placed close to the oise source or close to the people you are tryig to protect. The higher ad wider they are, the more effective they are likely to be. They work best i rooms with either high or soud-absorbet ceiligs. 214 Coverig the barrier or scree with oise-absorbig material o the side facig the oise source will have the added advatage of reducig the soud reflected back ito that area cotaiig the oise source. Those workplaces which have already bee treated with soud-absorbig material will help to create coditios which will allow the scree or barrier to perform to its maximum potetial, sice i these cases the direct oise is likely to be the domiat source. Eyelets for hagig Heavy cloth cover Velcro strip for attachmet to adjacet pael 25mm fibreglass quilt 0.5mm - 1.0mm lead sheet Figure 11 Example of costructio of a hagig, flexible acoustic barrier Cotrollig oise at work Page 59 of 130

60 Health ad Safety 215 CAUTION: Be aware of the followig whe usig screes or barriers: Screes ad barriers may ot work well for low frequecies. They are best at reducig the direct oise, ad may ot affect reflected oise. Always place the scree or barrier as close to the oise source or employee positio as possible. The scree or barrier should be made of a dese material, ad should be lied with absorptive material facig the oise source. Always cosider other health ad safety risks, such as safe movemet of people ad vehicles, whe placig barriers i the workplace. Refuges Noise-reduced eclosures for people 216 Noise refuges ca be a practical solutio i situatios where oise cotrol is very difficult, or where oly occasioal attedace i oisy areas is ecessary. The desig of refuges will be similar to that of acoustic eclosures, although sice the purpose is to keep oise out rather tha i, liig the ier surfaces with acoustic absorbet material will ot be ecessary. 217 If machie cotrols are brought ito the refuge, ad thought is give to allowig remote moitorig or viewig of machiery ad processes, it should be possible to miimise the amout of time that workers have to sped outside the refuge so maximisig the beefit of havig the refuge. For example, a refuge that is used for oly half a shift will achieve o more tha 3 db reductio i oise exposure. 218 Refuges must be acceptable to employees. This meas they must be of a reasoable size, well lit ad vetilated ad have good ergoomic seatig. Figure 12 A oise refuge ad cotrol room Cotrollig oise at work Page 60 of 130

61 Health ad Safety 219 CAUTION: Check your refuge desig for: adequate vetilatio; good door ad widow seals; self-closig doors; dese costructio materials, with plety of acoustically double-glazed widows; isolatio from the floor to reduce structure vibratios; size is it large eough? Dampig Addig material to reduce vibratio ad oise 220 Dampig ivolves addig material to reduce vibratios ad the tedecy of machie parts to rig. 221 Vibratios i a machie may affect objects that are coected to it, which i tur vibrate ad give out oise. A example of this is where light steel paels are used to box i dagerous movig parts. These paels are excited by vibratios i the machie, which i tur cause oise to be radiated. Assess the flexibility of the pael ad judge whether addig dampig materials to the vibratig paels might reduce the oise. 222 Differet ways of applyig dampig iclude: applyig treatmets to sheet metal, such as spray-o or magetic surface coatigs or bodig two sheets together (eg a sheet of rubber boded to a sheet of steel); usig materials such as soud-deadeed steel with high dampig capacity i the costructio of machie casigs; attachig dampig plates with bolts or spot welds to icrease frictio dampig; usig secodary sheets of material (or lamiatio) to provide a degree of dampig; addig stiffess i the form of stregtheig ribs to paels; buyig circular saw blades with a sadwich dampig layer, or havig slots professioally laser-cut ito blades to reduce the vibratios. Figure 13 Dampig material applied to trasport chutes i the food idustry Cotrollig oise at work Page 61 of 130

62 Health ad Safety Figure 14 Dampig compoud beig applied to metal deckig 223 CAUTION: Dampig will oly be effective if the followig poits are observed: Check at regular itervals that the dampig material is ot becomig detached from the machie. Check if the dampig material is deterioratig? If so, replace it. Dampig may oly be effective for a limited rage of oise frequecies. Check you are usig eough dampig material. Isolatio Separate the machie from its surroudigs ad supportig structures 224 Flexible isolatio made of rubber or sprigs ca be used to reduce the spread of structure-bore soud through a machie frame, eg: isolate the bearigs from a gearbox case to reduce the trasmissio of gear oise; mout machies o the correct ati-vibratio mouts to reduce the trasmissio of vibratio ito the structure of the workplace which may be radiated as oise; fit ati-vibratio moutigs to reduce the trasmissio of soud from hydraulic power supply pipes to the cab floor o a earth-movig machie. 225 Ati-vibratio moutigs uder machies are ot usually very effective for reducig oise close to a machie, uless the floor o which it stads is uusually flexible, eg mezzaie floors, but they ca be effective i reducig structure-bore oise causig uisace i earby areas/rooms ad workstatios. Cotrollig oise at work Page 62 of 130

63 Health ad Safety Figure 15 Ati-vibratio mouts isolate a grider from the supportig surface Figure 16 Detail of ati-vibratio mout Attachig ad levellig screw Lockut ad washer Steel base plate with securig holes Neopree or rubber body Figure 17 Rubber or eopree i shear ati-vibratio mout 226 CAUTION: Ati-vibratio moutig, if ot carried out correctly, ca icrease oise levels ad affect the stability of machiery seek specialist advice. Ay supplier of ati-vibratio mouts will provide specialist advice as part of the service. Silecers 227 Silecers are attachmets fitted to air or gas stream ilets ad exhausts ad ca be used i may situatios. Here are some examples: Cotrollig oise at work Page 63 of 130

64 Health ad Safety Cap Top plate ad rubber or eopree pad Steel sprig Body Rubber or eopree pad at base of sprig to elimiate high frequecy trasmissio through sprig steel Figure 18 High-deflectio sprig ati-vibratio mout I pipes ad ducts 228 Mufflers or silecers ca reduce oise trasmitted alog pipes ad ducts, eg: exhaust ad itake silecers o iteral combustio egies; duct silecers to cotrol oise from the ilet ad exhaust of vetilatio fas. Figure 19 A typical duct silecer Air exhausts ad jets 229 Silecers ca reduce oise geerated by turbulece at air exhausts ad jets, eg: a porous silecer for the exhaust of a peumatic cylider; a silecer for the air supply to a shot-blaster s helmet; use low-oise air ozzles (see Figure 20) ad peumatic ejectors ad cleaig gus costructed o good aerodyamic priciples, or substitute a alterative method of doig the job. Cotrollig oise at work Page 64 of 130

65 Health ad Safety Figure 20 A low-oise (iducedflow) air ozzle Figure 21 Multiple air exhausts piped to a maifold ad silecer Fabricated ad assembled metal body with layers of coarse-wove wire cloth as silecig material Machied metal body ad thread with compacted wire wool as silecig material Ijectio moulded plastic body ad thread with sitered plastic or metal membrae Figure 22 Typical air exhaust silecers Cotrollig oise at work Page 65 of 130

66 Health ad Safety 230 You should esure that the quatity ad pressure of compressed air supplied to equipmet is matched to its eeds. This ca be achieved by providig each item of equipmet with its ow pressure-reducig valve. The supplies ca be idividually adjusted for a good compromise betwee reliable operatio ad oise. This has a added beefit of reducig the costs of the supply of compressed air. 231 CAUTION: Poits to ote whe cosiderig silecers: Absorptive silecers are usually oly good for medium to high oise frequecies. Passive silecers are desiged to reduce oise at a particular frequecy, or over a small rage of frequecies. Cotamiatio by debris (dust or liquids) will reduce the efficiecy with time. Regular maiteace will maitai efficiecy. Active oise cotrol A electroically-cotrolled oise-reductio method 232 Active oise cotrol is a electroically-cotrolled oise-reductio method ad ivolves the reductio or cacellatio of oe soud by the itroductio of a secod opposite soud. 233 The techique is most effective i reducig low-frequecy oise. It has bee used to cotrol oise i ducted systems such as diesel egie exhausts ad the low-frequecy rumble from gas turbie stacks. It has also bee used to exted the performace of hearig protectio ad oise-reducig helmets. Figure 23 Active oise cotrol i a peumatic trasport system Cotrollig oise at work Page 66 of 130

67 Health ad Safety Distace Icrease the distace betwee the source of the oise ad the people 234 Icreasig the distace betwee a perso ad the oise source ca reduce oise exposure cosiderably. Some examples of this are: direct the discharge from exhausts well away from workers, eg by fittig a flexible hose to discharge exhaust several metres away from the operator. Similarly, o a mobile machie powered by a iteral combustio egie the exhaust ca be kept well away from the drivig positio; use remote cotrol or automated equipmet to avoid the eed for workers to sped log periods ear to machies; separate oisy processes to restrict the umber of people exposed to high levels of oise, eg test egies i test cells which eed to be etered oly occasioally, make arragemets for quiet ispectio tasks to be carried out away from oisy maufacturig areas, ad locate uatteded air compressors ad refrigeratio plat i separate rooms. Maiteace Plaed checkig ad maiteace of machiery 235 Machie maiteace ca be critical i reducig oise. Machies deteriorate with age ad use, ad if ot maitaied are likely to produce more oise due to factors such as wor parts, poor lubricatio ad loose paels vibratig. Maiteace ca, if carried out periodically, limit the icreased oise emissio due to wear. 236 Check with the operator that the oise level has ot icreased over time. If it has it is a idicatio that the machie requires attetio. Have a reportig system i place so the operator ca iform of problems. 237 Check that the oise-cotrol features fitted to the machie have ot deteriorated or bee removed. Specialist skills ad traiig i oise cotrol 238 While may oise-cotrol techiques are simple to put i place ad effective, other techiques require specialist skills ad kowledge. Therefore if you are i ay doubt as to whether you ca idetify for yourself the best meas of cotrollig oise you are advised to cosult a specialist oise-cotrol egieer. I the loger term you should cosider whether it would be beeficial to develop your ow i-house skills ad kowledge by providig traiig for yourself or some of your employees i oise cotrol. Some techical colleges offer traiig i oise cotrol. 239 Desigig ad puttig i place effective oise cotrol ivolves uderstadig the operatioal requiremets of the work goig o. A workig kowledge of the process ivolved ad alterative ways of doig the job are importat factors. Particularly durig developmet work it is likely to be ecessary to idetify ad overcome problems ecoutered whe itroducig ew ways of cotrollig the oise. Cotrollig oise at work Page 67 of 130

68 Health ad Safety PART 4: SELECTING QUIETER TOOLS AND MACHINERY Overview How do I select low-oise tools ad machiery? What iformatio should the maufacturer, supplier or hirer provide? What are the limitatios of the iformatio? 240 Parts 1 to 3 idetified tool ad machie selectio as a importat step i the cotrol of workplace oise exposure. Part 4 gives guidace for the employer o how to cosider oise whe selectig the tools ad machiery that employees use at work. It sets out what the user (ie the employer who provides tools ad machiery for employees) should expect from those supplyig machiery (maufacturers, suppliers, importers ad hire compaies), as a result of the legal duties o maufacturers ad suppliers uder the Supply of Machiery (Safety) Regulatios 1992, as ameded (the Supply Regulatios) ad the Noise Emissio i the Eviromet by Equipmet for Use Outdoors Regulatios 2001 (the Outdoor Equipmet Regulatios). 10 It also idicates special precautios that may be required i iterpretig the iformatio provided by maufacturers ad suppliers. Providig quieter machiery for your employees 241 You have a duty uder the Provisio ad Use of Work Equipmet Regulatios 1998 (PUWER) 11 to esure that tools ad machiery that you provide for your employees are suitable for the work beig doe. This meas you must take accout of ay possible effects o the health ad safety of your employees icludig the effects of oise emissios. Uder PUWER you must provide iformatio, istructio ad traiig to your employees o the potetial risks to their health ad safety whe usig the equipmet, ad the precautios that may be ecessary. You must also make sure that ay equipmet provided complies with ay regulatios which implemet Europea Commuity directives, icludig the Supply Regulatios. 242 You also have a duty uder the Noise Regulatios to reduce the risk to your employees from oise exposure. This meas you eed to take accout of oise whe selectig ad providig tools ad machiery for your employees. 243 You eed iformatio from the supplier or maufacturer to alert you to the oise produced by machies, to help you select suitable products ad desig the work processes for which they will be used, ad to help you to pla your arragemets to protect your employees. You should cosider the available iformatio o oise emissios before you buy or hire tools or machiery. Iformatio o oise emissios must be icluded i ay techical documets describig the machiery, so you should be able to obtai this from the supplier. 244 Selectig quieter tools ad machiery for your employees to use may take some time to brig beefits. May employees are exposed to oise from multiple sources, so the iitial work i selectig quieter machiery may ot appear to be beeficial. Over time, as more quieter machiery is brought ito use, the beefits of the iitial work will be realised. Cotrollig oise at work Page 68 of 130

69 Health ad Safety Duties of maufacturers ad suppliers 245 The Supply Regulatios place duties o maufacturers ad suppliers of machiery. These are described i more detail i Appedix 4. For ew machiery ad ay machiery first put ito use after 1993 you ca expect a maufacturer ad/or supplier to: desig ad costruct the machiery so that risks resultig from oise emissios are reduced to the lowest level takig accout of techical progress, i particular lookig to reduce oise at source; provide iformatio to war you where there are risks from oise which have ot bee elimiated ( residual risks ); provide iformatio o the oise produced by the tool or machie at the operator s positios, both i terms of average oise levels ad peak oise levels, ad for the oisier machies provide iformatio o the soud power emitted. Soud power is a measure of the total soud produced by the machie; provide iformatio o ay specific requiremet for traiig of the operator to esure that low oise exposures are achieved ad sustaied, ad ay requiremets for traiig those who will udertake maiteace of machies. 246 The Outdoor Equipmet Regulatios place duties o maufacturers ad suppliers of certai classes of machiery commoly used outdoors to: provide iformatio o the soud power emitted by the machie; for some of the machies covered by the Regulatios, meet set targets for the soud power emitted. Usig maufacturers oise data 247 Noise data supplied by maufacturers of tools ad machies ca idicate how much oise a operator of that machie is likely to be exposed to, ad also how much oise the machie is likely to emit ito the surroudig area. This ca help to: compare the oise from differet brads ad models of the same type of tool or machie; idetify (ad avoid) tools ad machies that have uusually high oise emissios; cosider the differeces i oise of several tools/machies which are, i other respects, suitable for the particular task; idetify the rage of likely oise levels whe a tool/machie is used for differet tasks or workig o differet materials; make a estimate of oise exposure resultig from the use of the machie to assess risk ad evaluate the eed for cotrollig exposure. 248 The maufacturer s oise emissio data should come with a descriptio of the operatig coditios uder which the oise was tested. They should report the test procedures they have adopted, icludig the machie cofiguratio ad the operatig ad loadig coditios durig the test. Maufacturers are free to decide the operatig coditios, or they may choose to follow a stadardised oise test code for the specific class or type of machie, where such a stadard test exists. 249 Some geeral stadard test codes are available to maufacturers to determie oise emissio. These iclude: BS ISO 230-5:2000 Test code for machie tools. Determiatio of the oise emissio; 12 Cotrollig oise at work Page 69 of 130

70 Health ad Safety ISO 7960:1995 Airbore oise emitted by machie tools. Operatig coditios for woodworkig machies; 13 BS EN ISO :2001 Textile machiery. Noise test code. Commo requiremets; 14 BS EN 1265:1999 Noise test code for foudry machies ad equipmet The declared oise emissios should iclude a idicatio of the ucertaity i the declared value. The ucertaity is a factor desiged to accout for how repeatable the oise test is, ad variatios withi the productio process. Maufacturers should either declare the measured oise emissio ad the ucertaity as separate values, or should declare a sigle value that is the sum of the measured oise emissio ad the ucertaity. I the secod case it is good practice for the maufacturer to state the ucertaity value separately. You should check whether ay declared oise emissio values iclude a ucertaity factor. 251 Values for ucertaity will typically be up to 3 db, or higher for some types of machie. The differece betwee the oise emissio values for two tools or machies should ot be cosidered sigificat if it is smaller tha oe of the quoted ucertaity values. Note that it may ot always be essetial or desirable to choose the tool or machie with the lowest declared oise emissio, but it must be safe ad suitable for the particular task you should aim to avoid tools or machies with above average oise. 252 Where a oise test does ot produce emissio values that adequately reflect real use of the tool or machie, the declared oise emissio may ot be sufficiet to war of the risk that the user must maage, ad supplemetary iformatio is required. The maufacturers istructios must iform you of residual risks, methods for safe use ad, where ecessary, traiig istructios. 253 May Europea stadards withi which the oise tests are defied are curretly uder review ad the revised versios may result i oise emissio values that provide a more accurate guide to likely oise emissios durig iteded use. The stadards may also i the future set out achievable levels of oise emissios for certai classes of tool or machie. Limitatios of maufacturers oise data 254 At preset, some of the oise test methods used by maufacturers do ot represet the way tools or machies perform at work, ad oise levels i the workplace may be higher tha those obtaied i this type of laboratory test. This meas that the maufacturer s declared oise emissio values may ot be represetative of real use of the tool. For example: the operatig coditios specified i the oise test may be a o-load coditio, ie o material is worked by the machie durig the test; the oise test may specify a method which does ot iclude all oisegeeratig mechaisms preset durig real use; the material beig worked durig the oise test may be differet to that which the user iteds to work; the maufacturer may have used a low-oise cosumable or toolig durig the oise test, which the ed user may, for whatever reaso, choose ot to use. 255 Uless you are satisfied that the maufacturer s data o oise emissios reflect the real workig coditios, ad is represetative of the work to which you ited to put the tool or machie, you should ot use the emissio data as a meas of evaluatig the oise exposure of your employees. However, you may still be able to use the data to compare machiery of the same type, ad to idetify the Cotrollig oise at work Page 70 of 130

71 Health ad Safety oisier or oisiest machiery, as log as the machiery has bee tested uder the same or comparable coditios. 256 Eve whe declared oise emissios do reflect oise emitted uder real use, you should be cautious i usig the data to predict oise exposures. This is because a worker s oise exposure ofte comes from a umber of sources of oise, ad may ot be domiated by the oise from the tool or machie uder cosideratio. You will eed to assess the effect of the oise from the tool or machie i combiatio with other oise sources. Residual risks 257 If there is a residual risk, after all practicable meas of oise reductio have bee icorporated i the desig ad costructio of the machiery, the maufacturer must provide iformatio so that you ca put the machiery to use safely for all reasoably foreseeable applicatios. For example, the maufacturer of a had-held gridig machie will eed to cosider the rage of oise levels likely to be geerated by his machie whe used with various types of abrasive disc ad the materials likely to be worked. He ca the provide eough iformatio to allow you to assess ad maage the risk whe operatig the machie. 258 The declared oise emissio value will ofte be eough to alert you to the eed to cotrol the oise risk, but where the test code does ot produce realistic oise values, additioal iformatio is required to allow the equipmet to be used safely (eg by specifyig maiteace programmes, operatig techiques, traiig requiremets or likely i-use oise levels durig the full rage of iteded uses of the machie). Traiig requiremets 259 Where tools or machies require specific traiig of the operator to esure that low oise exposures are achieved ad sustaied, or traiig of others such as those who will udertake maiteace of machies, the you should expect the suppliers to alert you to this. For example, this might iclude: traiig i ew operator skills for tools or machies with oise-reductio features; otificatio of applicatios of the tool or machie that produce uusually high oise emissios; iformatio about particular methods of usig the tool or machie to be adopted or avoided that greatly affect the emitted oise; ad traiig i maiteace requiremets to avoid uecessary exposure. Secod-had equipmet 260 The Supply Regulatios apply to all relevat machiery first supplied or put ito service i the EEA from For machiery first supplied before 1993, sectio 6 of the Health ad Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires importers ad suppliers of machiery ad equipmet for use at work to esure, so far as is reasoably practicable, that it is safe ad without risks to health at all times whe it is beig set, used, cleaed or maitaied by a perso at work. They must also provide adequate iformatio o the use for which the equipmet is desiged so that it ca be used safely ad without risk to health. Also, uder regulatio 10 of PUWER, machiery you provide for use at work by your employees must comply with the essetial health ad safety requiremets i the Supply Regulatios. Cotrollig oise at work Page 71 of 130

72 Health ad Safety 261 Suppliers of secod-had machiery may be able to rely o iformatio origially supplied with the machie if this is available ad sufficiet. However, they may eed to provide ew iformatio if, for example, the origial iformatio is o loger available, if the machie has bee sigificatly modified, so that the existig iformatio is o loger valid, or if the origial iformatio did ot meet the stadard required. Summary for employers: Selectig low-oise tools ad machiery 262 Whe selectig equipmet, besides esurig that the tool or equipmet is geerally suitable for the job, you should: ask about likely oise levels for your iteded use(s) before makig your fial choice; check that maufacturers oise data is represetative of likely oise levels for your iteded use(s); look for warigs i the istructio book to see if particular uses of the tool or machies are likely to cause uusually high oise; be aware that eve where maufacturers declare that their tool or machies produce less tha 70 db, levels may sometimes be much greater i your workplace. Cotrollig oise at work Page 72 of 130

73 Health ad Safety PART 5: HEARING PROTECTION SELECTION, USE, CARE AND MAINTENANCE Overview What types of hearig protectors are available ad what are they suitable for? How do I select protectors which give the right amout of protectio, takig accout of the work beig doe? How do I choose the right protectio for the workig eviromet, takig accout of my employees eeds? How do I make sure protectors are compatible with other safety equipmet? How should hearig protectors be used? What are the proper ways of fittig ad wearig hearig protectors? How do I keep hearig protectors i good coditio? 263 Providig persoal hearig protectio should be oe of your first cosideratios o discoverig a risk to the health of your employees due to oise. It should ot be used as a alterative to cotrollig oise by techical ad orgaisatioal meas, but for tacklig the immediate risk while other cotrol measures are beig developed. I the loger term, it should be used where there is a eed to provide additioal protectio beyod what has bee achieved through oise cotrol. Where persoal hearig protectio is eeded it is importat that you select the right type of protectio, ad make sure that it is used ad looked after. 264 Much of the iformatio here is based o British Stadard BS EN 458:2004 Hearig protectors. Recommedatios for selectio, use, care ad maiteace. Guidace documet, 16 which you may wish to cosult for more detailed guidace. 265 Hearig protectors are available i may forms. They are all capable of providig a reductio i oise exposure ad will be provided with iformatio to allow you to decide whether they provide adequate oise reductio for your work situatio. Whichever type of protector is used, it will provide its best protectio oly if it is i good coditio, is the correct size ad is wor properly. 266 All hearig protectio should carry the CE mark. This is a idicatio that it meets a set of essetial requiremets, i accordace with the Persoal Protective Equipmet Regulatios What to cosider whe selectig hearig protectio 267 The followig factors are likely to ifluece your selectio of hearig protectio: Types of protector, ad suitability for the work beig carried out. Noise reductio (atteuatio) offered by the protector. Compatibility with other safety equipmet. Patter of the oise exposure. The eed to commuicate ad hear warig souds. Evirometal factors such as heat, humidity, dust ad dirt. Cost of maiteace or replacemet. Comfort ad user preferece. Medical disorders suffered by the wearer. 268 Your choice of protectors may also be iflueced by factors relatig to itrisic safety ad electromagetic compatibility, which are ot covered i this book. Cotrollig oise at work Page 73 of 130

74 Health ad Safety Figure 24 Types of earmuff Figure 25 Earplugs with eck cord Figure 26 Types of earplug Figure 27 Earplugs with eckbad Figure 28 Custom-moulded earplugs Figure 29 Helmet-mouted earmuffs Cotrollig oise at work Page 74 of 130

75 Health ad Safety Table 5 Types of hearig protector, advatages, disadvatages, care ad maiteace Type Descriptio Advatages Earmuffs Hard plastic cups which fit over ad surroud the ears, ad are sealed to the head by cushio seals filled with a soft plastic foam or a viscous liquid. Tesio to assist the seal is provided by a headbad. The ier surfaces of the cups are covered with a soud-absorbig material, usually a soft plastic foam. Easy to fit ad use. Clearly visible therefore easily moitored. Notes o suitability ad use Headbad ca prevet use of a hard hat. Headbad ca be wor behid the eck or uder the chi if a uder-hat support strap is provided. However, the protectio offered may be reduced. May ot be suited for use with safety glasses ad other forms of persoal protective equipmet (check compatibility). Care ad maiteace Check seals for clealiess, hardeig, tearig ad misshape. Check cup coditio for cracks, holes, damage ad uofficial modificatios. Avoid over bedig or twistig headbad, which may degrade performace. Check tesio of headbad (compare with a ew earmuff). Available i a rage of sizes. May be ucomfortable i warm coditios. Log hair, beards ad jewellery may iterfere with seals ad reduce protectio. Store i a clea eviromet. Follow maufacturer s istructios. Helmetmouted earmuffs Idividual cups attached to safety head-gear such as a visor or a hard hat, usually by adjustable arms. Noise protectio iformatio should be obtaied for the specific combiatio of earmuff ad helmet. Ca overcome the difficulties with compatibility with hard hats. May ot be suited for use with safety glasses ad other forms of protective equipmet (check compatibility). May be ucomfortable i warm coditios. Log hair, beards ad jewellery may iterfere with seals ad reduce protectio. As for earmuffs. Esure the seals do ot sit o the side of the helmet for log periods as this ca damage them ad affect their performace. Earplugs Earplugs fit ito the ear or cover the ear caal to form a seal. They sometimes have a cord or a eckbad to prevet loss. Some plugs are reusable ad others are desiged to be disposed of after oe use check maufacturer s istructios. Available i differet forms (pre-shaped, userformable, semi-isert). Suited for use with safety glasses ad other forms of persoal protective equipmet. Ca be hard to fit will oly be effective whe fitted properly so correct fittig is essetial. See maufacturer s istructios ad provide traiig. Difficult to check correct fit by observatio. Ca work loose over time, so allow for refittig i a quiet eviromet every hour. May ot be suitable where the hearig protectio is likely to be removed ofte, particularly i dusty or dirty eviromets. May ot be suitable for certai idividuals due to medical coditios. Clea reusable plugs regularly ad esure they are ot damaged or degraded follow maufacturer s istructios. Disposable earplugs should oly be used oce. Hads should be clea whe fittig earplugs. Reusable plugs should be issued to a idividual ad ot shared. Esure adequate supplies of disposable earplugs. Follow maufacturer s istructios. Cotrollig oise at work Page 75 of 130

76 Health ad Safety Type Descriptio Advatages Custommoulded plugs. Earplugs made from a material such as silicoe rubber, idividually moulded to fit a perso s ears. For some wearers they may be easier to fit tha other types of earplug ad therefore more likely to get good protectio. Comfortable. Notes o suitability ad use Poor performace if maufacturig ad iitial fittig are ot doe properly. Esure fit tests are doe before plugs are put ito use. Care ad maiteace As for earplugs. Figure 30 Earmuffs wor with headbad behid head (ote use of support strap) Figure 31 Correct fittig of earplugs Figure 32 Icorrect fittig of earplugs Figure 33 Problems of fittig earmuffs with log hair Figure 34 Problems of fittig earmuffs with jewellery Figure 35 Problems of fittig earmuffs with safety glasses Cotrollig oise at work Page 76 of 130

77 Health ad Safety Special types of protector Level-depedet protectors 269 Level-depedet (or amplitude-sesitive) hearig protectors are desiged to protect agaist hazardous oise while permittig good commuicatio whe it is quieter. They are most suited to situatios where the oise exposure is itermittet ad there is a eed to commuicate durig quieter itervals. 270 Soud-restoratio, level-depedet hearig protectors are available, icorporatig a electroic soud-reproductio system. At low soud pressure levels, the soud detected by a exteral microphoe is relayed to the iside of the hearig protector. As the exteral soud level icreases, the electroics gradually reduce the trasmissio of soud. 271 Level-depedet devices based o o-electroic methods are also available. These use the acoustic properties of carefully desiged air ducts to give differet protectio at differet oise levels. These types of protector are desiged to be effective agaist very high sigle-impulse oises, such as firearms, rather tha the cotiuous oise or repetitive impulses foud i most idustrial situatios. Flat or tailored frequecy respose protectors 272 Whereas most hearig protectors provide greater reductio of oise at high frequecies tha they do at low frequecies, this type of protector, by its desig, gives a similar reductio across a wide frequecy rage (ie a flat frequecy respose). This ca assist effective commuicatio, ad ca be useful i circumstaces where it is importat to be able to hear the high-frequecy soud at the correct level relative to the low-frequecy souds, eg musicias durig rehearsal ad practisig. 273 Similarly, hearig protectio is available which is desiged to reduce low- ad high-frequecy oise i particular, potetially allowig a greater degree of spoke commuicatio. Active oise-reductio protectors 274 Active oise-reductio (ANR) hearig protectors icorporate a electroic soud cacellig system to achieve additioal oise reductio. ANR ca be effective at low frequecies ( Hz) where ordiary protectors ca be less effective. ANR protectors are usually based o a earmuff type protector. Protectors with commuicatio facilities 275 These devices make use of wired or aerial systems to relay sigals, alarms, messages or etertaimet programmes to the wearer. These protectors should be desiged so that the level of the relayed sigal is ot too loud. Where the devices are used to receive spoke messages the microphoe should, where possible, be switched off whe ot i use, to avoid the reproductio at the ear of spurious backgroud oise. 276 Whe cosiderig these devices, check to esure it is possible to hear ecessary warig souds (eg speech ad safety alarms)* above the souds reproduced at the ear. Safety alarms should ot ormally be relayed through the commuicatio system because of the risk of system failure. * Stadard methods are available for selectig suitable auditory warig sigals - BS EN ISO 7731:2005 Ergoomics. Dager sigals for public ad work areas. Auditory dager sigals. Cotrollig oise at work Page 77 of 130

78 Health ad Safety Care ad maiteace 277 Hearig protectio must be moitored for wear ad damage ad replaced whe ecessary. If hearig protectors are to be effective, ad provide the expected protectio, they must be i good coditio. You are resposible for esurig that hearig protectio is well maitaied, while employees are resposible for reportig ay defects (see regulatio 8). With experiece, simple checks ca be made by visual ispectio ad feel. It is good practice to keep a set of ew protectors o display, to provide a basis for compariso. Figure 36 Damaged earmuff seal Figure 37 Damaged helmet-mouted earmuff seal due to prologed storage i up positio Figure 38 Earmuff headbad showig reduced tesio (i compariso to tesio whe ew) Likely oise reductio Reductio of oise exposure 278 The Noise Regulatios require that hearig protectio is selected to elimiate the risk to hearig, or reduce the risk to the lowest level reasoably practicable ad that the selectio process takes accout of cosultatio with employees or their represetatives. You should aim to provide protectio that at least reduces the A-weighted soud pressure level at the wearer s ear to below 85 db. Cotrollig oise at work Page 78 of 130

79 Health ad Safety 279 For impulsive oise, you should aim to provide protectio sufficiet to reduce the C-weighted peak soud pressure level at the ear to below the upper peak exposure actio value of 137 db. The oise reductio ca be estimated usig the method give i Appedix For workers with variable exposures, you should make sure that your employees have protectors adequate for the worst situatio likely to be ecoutered ad that they kow whe ad where to use them. 281 Three methods for predictig the protectio provided by hearig protectio devices are described i Appedix 3. You should use oe of these methods to establish the predicted protectio, ad before goig o to accout for real world factors as described i paragraphs Real world protectio 282 It is very likely that uder coditios of real use, hearig protectors will give lower protectio tha predicted by maufacturers data which is obtaied from stadardised tests. The differece betwee maufacturers data ad real-world protectio is due to factors such as poor fittig ad wearig of spectacles or other persoal protective equipmet. You should accout for this real world protectio by deratig the protector by 4 db. This meas, havig followed oe of the methods i Appedix 3, assume that the level at the ear whe hearig protectio is wor will be 4 db higher tha would be predicted by the method. I this way you will get a better idicatio of the protectio that users are most likely to get, ad ca select appropriate hearig protectio accordigly. 283 The deratig does ot apply to the assessmet of hearig protector performace agaist peak oise, which is described i Appedix The 4 db deratig described i paragraph 282 is regarded as a appropriate factor to bridge the gap betwee maufacturers data ad real-world factors, without itroducig further complexity to the predictio of hearig protector performace. You will still be able to select a appropriate hearig protectio device for the character of the oise, ad hearig protectors that show better repeatability i stadardised tests will still be distiguishable. 285 The use of a deratig factor will ot ecessarily mea that you will eed to select a protector with a higher ratig tha oe you curretly use. By followig all the guidace withi this Part you should be able to esure that eve if wearers get better protectio tha that predicted by these methods, the protected level at the ear will be withi the recommeded rage. 286 You may wish to demostrate by meas other tha relyig o maufacturers data ad the methods outlied i this book that the hearig protectio you supply meets the requiremet to reduce the oise level at the ear to the appropriate level, eg by measuremet of oise levels udereath hearig protectio devices i coditios of real use. Over-protectio 287 Protectors that reduce the level at the ear to below 70 db should be avoided, sice this over-protectio may cause difficulties with commuicatio ad hearig warig sigals. Users may become isolated from their eviromet, leadig to safety risks, ad geerally may have a tedecy to remove the hearig protectio ad therefore risk damage to their hearig. Cotrollig oise at work Page 79 of 130

80 Health ad Safety 288 Table 6 gives a idicatio of the protector factor that is likely to be suitable for differet levels of oise (the oise level durig a particular work task, ot the daily persoal oise exposure). It based o the sigle umber ratig (SNR) value provided with a hearig protectio device (see Appedix 3). The iformatio is iteded as a guide rather tha a substitute for usig oe of the methods i Appedix 3, ad i particular will ot be appropriate if there are sigificat lowfrequecy compoets to the oise i questio. Examples of oise eviromets which may cotai sigificat low-frequecy compoets, ad for which this table is ot suitable, iclude press shops, geerators ad geerator test bays, plat rooms, boiler houses, cocrete shaker tables, mouldig presses ad puch presses. Table 6 Idicatio of protector factors A-weighted oise level (db) Select a protector with a SNR of or less or more Dual protectio 289 People workig i extreme oise coditios may require more protectio tha that provided by earmuffs or earplugs aloe. This problem is likely where the daily oise exposure is above 110 db or the peak soud pressure level exceeds 150 db, especially if there is substatial oise at frequecies less tha about 500 Hz. 290 Improved protectio ca be obtaied by wearig a combiatio of earmuffs ad earplugs. The amout of protectio will deped o the particular earmuff ad plug combiatio. I geeral, the most useful combiatio is a high performace plug with a moderate-performace earmuff (a high-performace earmuff adds a little extra protectio but is likely to be less comfortable). 291 If dual protectio is used, test data should be obtaied for the particular combiatio of plug ad earmuff (ad helmet, if used). I practice, the icrease i atteuatio you ca expect from dual protectio will be o more tha 6 db over that of the better of the idividual protectors. Other factors ifluecig selectio Wearer comfort ad preferece 292 Idividuals differ i what they fid comfortable. Some people prefer earplugs i hot eviromets, but others fid ay earplug extremely ucomfortable ad prefer earmuffs. Wherever possible you should make more tha oe type of protector available (makig sure that each is suitable for the oise ad the jobs to be doe) to allow the user a persoal choice. 293 All protectors are likely to be somewhat ucomfortable, especially i hot, humid coditios. Therefore, choose hearig protectio that is sufficiet to cotrol the risk, does ot over protect ad is reasoably comfortable to wear. Cotrollig oise at work Page 80 of 130

81 Health ad Safety 294 Oe of the factors affectig the comfort of earmuffs is the pressure of the seals o the head. This ca be kept low by usig resiliet seals which oly eed a low headbad force. A high cotact area betwee seal ad head also helps reduce the cotact pressure, but i hot coditios ca cause the ski to sweat* i these coditios earplugs may be preferred. Other importat factors affectig comfort iclude the weight of the earmuffs (the lighter the better) ad the size of the cup (the cups must be large eough to fit right over the user s ear). Patter of oise exposure 295 Where patters of oise exposure are likely to be repeated ad short-term, earmuffs ad semi-aural/semi-isert earplugs may be preferred because they are quick ad easy to fit ad remove, ad therefore more likely to be fitted whe exposure occurs. Warig sigals ad speech commuicatio 296 Where it is importat that certai souds withi the workplace are heard clearly ad distictly, such as with speech commuicatio, warig sigals ad other iformative souds, hearig protectors with a flat frequecy respose may be preferred. 297 There is some evidece that the wearig of hearig protectors ca icrease speech itelligibility agaist a backgroud of oise. You should ot discout the use of hearig protectio simply because there is a eed for speech commuicatio. Locatio of a soud source 298 Hearig protectors ca impair the wearer s ability to idetify the locatio of a soud source. If this ability is ecessary or importat for your work activity the earplugs may be preferred sice with earplugs the impairmet is less tha with earmuffs. Compatibility with other safety equipmet 299 Whe selectig hearig protectors you should take accout of ay other persoal protective equipmet that the user must wear which may impair the performace of the hearig protectors you have selected. Particular examples are the use of safety glasses or goggles, the frame or bad of which may iterfere with earmuff seals ad reduce the protectio offered. Where there is a eed to wear hearig protectors i combiatio with helmets or face-shields, space may be limited ad earplugs or low-mass earmuffs may be preferred. Medical disorders 300 Part of the selectio process for hearig protectors icludes fidig out whether the user has ay medical disorder that could ifluece the selectio. Medical disorders ca mea ay type of earache, irritatio of the ear caal, discharge, hearig loss, or ay type of ear disease or ski disorder. Where you have employees who have ay such medical disorders you should seek medical advice as to the suitability of hearig protectio. * Liers which fit betwee the seal ad the head ca absorb sweat, but may reduce protectio by a small amout (typically 2 to 4 db). Cotrollig oise at work Page 81 of 130

82 Health ad Safety Advice o issuig hearig protectio 301 Whe issuig hearig protectors you will eed to cosider regulatios 7 (hearig protectio), 8 (Maiteace ad use of equipmet) ad 10 (Iformatio, istructio ad traiig) of the Noise Regulatios (see Part 1) ad take accout of the poits below. Iformatio 302 You should provide your employees with iformatio o: why you are issuig hearig protectors; where they must be used; how they ca obtai replacemets or ew protectors; ad how they should wear them properly ad look after them. Ready availability 303 You should esure that employees ca readily obtai hearig protectors ad replacemets whe they eed them. This might iclude persoal issue to idividual employees. Alteratively, you might wish to istall dispesers from which employees ca take disposable hearig protectors as they eed them. Locate the dispesers at or ear to the etraces to areas where hearig protectors are required, i a place where your employees ca coveietly use them. Make sure you keep the dispesers topped up. Persoal issue ad visitors 304 People should ot pass earplugs to oe aother. Preferably, a set of earmuffs should be used by oe idividual oly. Where earmuffs are kept for the use of visitors, they should be hygieically cleaed for each ew wearer. Alteratively, disposable covers may be used. Traiig ad effective use 305 Hearig protectio will oly provide good protectio whe used properly ad fitted correctly. Users must be istructed i its correct fittig ad use, icludig: how to avoid the potetial iterferece of log hair, spectacles ad earrigs o the effectiveess of their hearig protectio; how to wear their hearig protectio i combiatio with other persoal protectio; the importace of wearig their hearig protectio at all times i a oisy eviromet (removig it for oly a few miutes i a shift will lower the protectio to the wearer cosiderably); how to store their hearig protectio correctly; how to care for ad to check their hearig protectio at frequet itervals; where to report damage to their hearig protectio. 306 This traiig may be provided by a suitably traied supervisor. 307 Some people ted to remove hearig protectors whe speakig to others i oisy eviromets. You should advise them ot to do this ad explai to them that oce they are used to the situatio they will be able to commuicate more easily with protectors tha without them. Advise them to speak to the protector, ie to speak with the mouth close to the ear of the perso to whom they are talkig. Cotrollig oise at work Page 82 of 130

83 Health ad Safety 308 Some people ted to speak quietly whe they are wearig hearig protectors i oisy areas because they ca hear their ow voice more clearly. This ca cause commuicatio problems, so you should advise users to speak up whe wearig protectors. Maximisig performace of protectors through full use 309 There are may reasos why hearig protectors give less oise reductio tha would be predicted. Oe of the most commo reasos is that protectors are ot used all of the time i oisy areas. If the protectors are removed i oisy areas, eve for short periods, the amout of protectio provided will be severely limited. Employers should esure, through traiig ad proper supervisio, that employees wear their hearig protectors at all times whe they are required. Employees have a duty to make full use of hearig protectors which have bee provided to them. 310 Figure 39 shows the how the effectiveess of a hearig protector is reduced if it is ot wor all the time it should be. It shows the effective protectio offered by three differet hearig protectors agaist the percetage of time wor. Whe the protectors are wor for 100% of the time that the user is exposed to the oise, they give the expected protectio. As wear time is decreased the effective protectio offered decreases. A sigificat reductio i protectio is foud eve if the wear time is 90%. If the protectors are wor for 50% of the time they should be, the protectio offered is oly about 3 db. Figure 39 Effectiveess of hearig protectio i relatio to time wor Cotrollig oise at work Page 83 of 130

84 Health ad Safety PART 6: HEALTH SURVEILLANCE FOR HEARING DAMAGE Overview What is health surveillace ad why is it ecessary? What do I have to do? What are the priciples which apply i settig up programmes of hearig checks? What is health surveillace? 311 Health surveillace is about puttig i place systematic, regular ad appropriate procedures to detect early sigs of work-related ill health, ad actig upo the results. The aims are primarily to safeguard the health of workers (icludig idetifyig ad protectig idividuals at icreased risk), but also to check the log-term effectiveess of measures to cotrol risks to health. 312 Health surveillace for oise-iduced hearig loss (NIHL) usually meas regular hearig checks (audiometric testig) to measure the sesitivity of hearig over a rage of soud frequecies. It should iclude iformig employees about the state of their hearig ad the keepig of records. Whe is health surveillace required? 313 You should provide health surveillace to workers frequetly exposed above the upper exposure actio values. Where exposure is betwee the lower ad upper exposure actio values, or where employees are oly occasioally exposed above the upper exposure actio values, health surveillace will oly be required if iformatio comes to light that a idividual may be particularly sesitive to NIHL. This may be from past medical history, audiometric test results from previous jobs or other idepedet assessmets. A few idividuals may also idicate a family history of becomig deaf early o i life. If this iformatio is brought to the attetio of the employer the those idividuals should be provided with health surveillace. 314 Whe decidig which workers will require health surveillace you should cosider patters of work. You would ot be expected to provide health surveillace, for example, to workers whose oise exposure exceeds the upper exposure actio values by a small margi, ad oly o oe or two days a week. However if exposure is frequetly above the upper exposure actio values the health surveillace would be appropriate. What do I actually have to do? 315 Health surveillace for NIHL will ivolve a system of audiometric testig. Full details of how to coduct the testig are i Appedix 5. You will eed to appoit a perso or people to be i charge of the testig programme. These people should be fully coversat with the techical ad ethical aspects of the coduct of audiometry, ad i particular be resposible for: the quality of the service provided; esurig that appropriate stadards are maitaied durig testig; record-keepig; referrig idividuals for further advice. Cotrollig oise at work Page 84 of 130

85 Health ad Safety 316 A suitable perso might be a occupatioal physicia or urse with traiig i audiometry, a audiological scietist or a traied audiometricia with access to a qualified occupatioal health medical professioal for advice ad oward referral. The provisio of health surveillace may be cotracted to a exteral occupatioal health service provider. Ultimately you as the employer have the resposibility for the proper coduct of health surveillace. The detailed arragemets for further advice should be agreed betwee you ad the perso i charge of the testig programme. 317 The perso performig the tests should have appropriate traiig so that testig is carried out i a repeatable ad accurate maer. A traiig syllabus for idustrial audiometricias has bee prepared by the British Society of Audiology (www.thebsa.org.uk) which has approved a umber of courses. The basic requiremets for ay perso resposible for the testig programme are that they should: have a good uderstadig of the aims ad objectives ad techique of audiometry ad how it relates to hearig; be able to carry out otoscopic examiatio of the ear to detect ay major abormality or the presece of discharge or wax which might affect the results; be competet to esure a appropriate test eviromet, to operate ad maitai the testig equipmet, ad to carry out the test procedure; uderstad ad comply with the eed for cofidetiality of persoal health iformatio; kow how to assess ad preset results accordig to a defied system, ad whe ad how to seek medical assistace. 318 I additio the tester should be familiar with the hearig protectio used by the workers to discuss proper fittig, cleaig ad maiteace. 319 The best programme would begi with a baselie audiogram, givig details of the coditio of a idividual s hearig before exposure to oise. A baselie audiogram may be a pre-employmet test or the first audiogram to be coducted o takig up employmet or movig to a oisy job. The beefits of a pre-employmet test are that it precludes ay exposure to oise withi your employmet. A programme ca, however, be itroduced at ay time for employees already exposed to oise. This would be followed by a regular series of tests, usually aually for the first two years ad the at three-yearly itervals, although testig may be more frequet where a abormality i hearig is detected or where the risk of hearig damage is high. 320 The perso coductig the testig should explai the results of each test to the employee icludig the coditio of the idividual s hearig, the sigificace of hearig damage, the importace of followig your oise-cotrol ad hearigprotectio programmes ad what happes ext if ay abormality i hearig is detected. If the test is ot coducted by a doctor the the employee may eed to be referred o to their GP if damage is foud. 321 Aalysis of the results of health surveillace for groups of workers ca provide a isight ito how well your hearig coservatio programme is workig. You should use these results to provide feedback to your risk assessmet ad your oise reductio, educatio ad compliace programme. You should also make this iformatio available to employee or safety represetatives. 322 If the work is cotracted out to a exteral provider you should esure they are competet ad agree the terms of the cotract icludig procedures for feedback of grouped results ad record-keepig. I these circumstaces more Cotrollig oise at work Page 85 of 130

86 Health ad Safety effort may be required to esure you receive appropriate feedback of results of testig. 323 So that your employees uderstad what health surveillace meas to them, you should discuss your programme with them ad their represetatives at a early stage. You should cosult employee or safety represetatives i good time about the developmet of the programme. The followig issues should be covered i your cosultatio ad discussios: the aims ad objectives of the programme; how the programme fits with the more geeral aim of prevetig hearig damage at work; the procedures to esure cofidetiality of the results; the methods to be followed, icludig those for medical referral; how the programme will be moitored ad evaluated. What type of records should I keep? 324 You should keep a up-to-date health record for each idividual as log as they are uder health surveillace. These records should iclude: idetificatio details of the employee; the employee s history of exposure to oise; the outcome of previous health surveillace i terms of fitess for work, ad ay restrictios required. 325 Health records should ot cotai persoal medical iformatio, which must be kept i cofidece i the medical record held by a occupatioal health professioal i charge of the audiometric testig programme. If the perso i charge of the programme is ot medically qualified the the holdig of medical iformatio should be agreed betwee you, your employees ad their represetatives at the set up of the programme. This meas that the perso i charge of the testig programme should hold the results of testig idepedetly from you ad the persoel records ad abide by the priciples of cofidetiality ormally expected of health professioals. This perso should forward the medical iformatio to the GP or cosultat where problems with hearig are idetified. 326 You will eed to see aoymised grouped data o the hearig of the workforce. This should be doe i a way that does ot reveal details of ay particular idividual s hearig threshold ad does ot compromise cofidetiality. Coset will ot be required for this type of iformatio to be provided to you. It may be difficult to provide grouped aoymised data for small groups of workers. However, ways should be devised to iform maagemet of issues that eed to be dealt with to prevet hearig loss without compromisig cofidetiality. 327 The health record should be retaied for at least as log as the employee remais i your employmet. You may wish to retai it for loger as equiries regardig the state of a idividual s hearig may arise may years after they have left your employmet or exposure to oise has ceased. It is good practice to offer idividual employees a copy of their health record whe they leave your employmet. Ispectors from the eforcig authorities are etitled to ask to see your health records as part of their checks that you are complyig with these Regulatios. If your busiess should cease tradig you may wish to pass the record to the idividual cocered. Cotrollig oise at work Page 86 of 130

87 Health ad Safety APPENDIX 1 MEASURING NOISE EXPOSURE IN THE WORKPLACE Overview What should be measured? What istrumets ca be used? What are the geeral priciples, techiques ad strategies that should be adopted whe makig measuremets? What should be measured? 1 Whe makig measuremets to estimate the oise exposure of a perso at work, you eed to ascertai the equivalet cotiuous A-weighted soud pressure level (L Aeq ) that represets the oise the perso is exposed to durig the workig day. You also eed to ascertai the maximum C-weighted peak soud pressure level or levels to which the perso is exposed. 2 The L Aeq is combied with the duratio of exposure durig a workig day to ascertai the daily persoal oise exposure, L EP,d, usig the formula defied i Schedule 1 Part 1 paragraph 1 to the Noise Regulatios. 3 I practice it is commo to break the workig day ito a umber of discrete jobs or tasks, ad to make sample measuremets to determie a represetative L Aeq for the job or task. The L Aeq for each job or task is the combied with its duratio durig the workig day to ascertai the L EP,d, usig the formula defied i Schedule 1 Part 1 paragraph 2 to the Noise Regulatios. 4 Electroic spreadsheets are available o the HSE website (www.hse.gov. uk/oise) which allow the calculatio to be performed. A simple ready-reckoer method for determiig daily persoal oise exposure usig these measuremet parameters is described i Part 2. 5 You may also wish to make other types of measuremets, such as the equivalet cotiuous C-weighted soud pressure level (L Ceq ) or the L eq i octave frequecy bads, for a job or task to perform calculatios to predict the performace of persoal hearig protectio. Istrumets What do I use to measure oise? 6 The basic istrumet for measurig oise is a soud level meter. A dosemeter (persoal soud exposure meter) wor by the employee ca also be used. Dualpurpose istrumets are also available which ca operate as both a soud level meter ad a dosemeter. A calibrator to check the meter ad a widshield to protect the microphoe agaist air movemet ad dirt are essetial accessories. 7 Other, more sophisticated, equipmet such as data recorders, frequecy aalysers, ad soud itesity aalysers ca be used for a more detailed assessmet. This equipmet is ot covered by this book. Cotrollig oise at work Page 87 of 130

88 Health ad Safety Soud level meters 8 The soud level meter should be a itegratig soud level meter capable of measurig the basic parameters described i paragraph 1 ad, optioally, the parameters described i paragraph 5. 9 Your soud level meter should meet at least Class 2 of BS EN : (the curret istrumetatio stadard for soud level meters), or at least Type 2 of BS EN 60804: (the former stadard). Persoal soud exposure meters (Dosemeters) 10 Where a perso is highly mobile or workig i places where access for the measuremet is difficult, a dosemeter is a alterative meas of measurig a perso s oise exposure. 11 Dosemeters idicate the total oise dose received over the measuremet period. Moder dosemeters commoly idicate the L Aeq over the measuremet period. Some meters idicate the dose i uits of Pascal squared hours (Pa 2.h)* or as a percetage of a give L EP,d (usually 85 or 90 db). Meters are required to provide a meas of covertig the readig to Pa 2.h if this is ot directly idicated o the meter. 12 I the case where the meter idicates the dose as a percetage of a L EP,d there may be a assumptio that the measuremet period correspods to the whole workig day, or there may be the ability to key i a value for the legth of day so that the istrumet ca make the calculatio. You should make sure you uderstad how the L EP,d show by the meter is calculated. 13 May dosemeters have additioal features. Those which record how the soud pressure level varies with time throughout the measuremet (a loggig dosemeter) ca be useful to show whe ad where high oise exposures occur. 14 All dosemeter measuremets should be made with a 3 db exchage rate (sometimes called the doublig rate). 15 People wearig dosemeters should be istructed ot to iterfere with the istrumet or microphoe durig the course of the measuremets. They should also be istructed ot to speak more tha is ecessary durig the course of the measuremet, sice a perso s ow voice should ot be icluded i a assessmet of their daily persoal oise exposure. 16 Your dosemeter should meet the requiremets of BS EN 61252: Dosemeters have o type or class umber. Calibrators 17 A soud calibrator should be used to check the meter each day before ad after makig ay measuremets. Calibrators give a toe at a specified soud pressure level ad frequecy for a specified microphoe type usig a appropriate adaptor. Make sure you have the right calibrator with the right adaptor for your microphoe. 18 Some meters have a iteral electroic calibratio. The iteral calibratio oly checks the istrumet s electroics ad does ot provide a check of the microphoe. However, it ca be a useful cross-check of the meter ad calibrator. * A measure of the total soud eergy received durig a measuremet period. Cotrollig oise at work Page 88 of 130

89 Health ad Safety 19 Your calibrator should meet at least Class 2 of BS EN 60942: Peak soud pressure level 20 Peak soud pressure should be measured with a C-weightig applied. You should esure whe measurig peak soud pressure that the correct frequecyweightig is applied. Some soud level meters iclude a I (impulse) respose. This should ot be used for ay measuremets relatig to the requiremets of these Regulatios. 21 More iformatio o peak soud pressure ad its measuremet is i Appedix 2. Periodic testig of istrumets 22 Both your meter ad calibrator eed to have bee tested i the previous two years to esure they still meet the required stadards. If your equipmet is more tha two years old, check you have a test certificate cofirmig the performace of your meter ad calibrator before you start your assessmet. More details o periodic testig are give i paragraphs of this appedix. Where should I measure ad how should the measuremets be made? Where? 23 Whe measurig to estimate a perso s oise exposure, make measuremets at every locatio they work i or pass through durig the workig day, ad ote the time spet at each locatio. It is geerally ot ecessary to record exposures to soud pressure levels below 75 db, sice such exposures are ulikely to be sigificat i relatio to the daily oise exposure actio levels. 24 Measuremets should be made at the positio occupied by the perso s head, preferably with the perso ot preset. Operators may eed to be preset while the measuremets are made, eg to cotrol a machie or process. Measuremets should be made with the microphoe positioed close eough to the operator s head to obtai a reliable measure of the oise to which they are exposed, but preferably ot so close that reflectios cause errors. The results are ulikely to be sigificatly affected by reflected soud if the microphoe is kept at least 15 cm away from a operator. The microphoe should be placed o the side of the head where the oise levels are higher. Figure 40 Makig measuremets with a had-held soud level meter Figure 41 Recommeded positio for a dosemeter microphoe Cotrollig oise at work Page 89 of 130

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