Health and Safety Executive Noise Site
The first port of call for any employer or safety manager, looking to find sensible and correct advice in relation to noise at work is the HSE’s website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/index.htm . You can download free copies of all guidance documents, information leaflets and much more. Take particular note of the HSE’s Key Messages in relation to Noise at Work:
- Hearing loss caused by work is preventable but once your hearing has gone it won’t come back.
- Damage can cause loss of hearing ability and people may also suffer a permanent sensation of ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
- Hearing loss caused by exposure to noise at work continues to be a significant occupational disease. Some 17,000 people in the UK suffer deafness, tinnitus or other ear conditions as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work.
- There are many practical, cost-effective ways of protecting yourself and your workers.
- Factors that contribute to hearing damage are noise levels and how long people are exposed to the noise, daily or over a number of years.
- The most efficient and effective way of controlling noise is by technical and organisational means that protect workers at source, eg changes in process, reducing vibration (damping) and reducing time spent in noisy areas.
- Health surveillance or hearing checks are vital to detect and respond to early signs of damage.
RVT Group – Guide to Managing Noise on Site
RVT Group have produced a simple and informative summary of what employers need to know, at the most basic level, about control of noise at work.
Svantek SV104 Noise Dosemeter
We use the new Svantek SV104 noise dosemeters for noise at work measurements. In the past, dosemeters were dumb devices – you got an overall number relating to noise exposure over a given period, but not much idea of whether that exposure was representative. So, it’s always been preferable to use a hand held meter/analyser, and to take precise measurements that can be used to ‘construct’ a typical day’s workplace noise exposure. The Svantek SV104 rather changes that – it does logging (just like many other dosemeters) but rather uniquely is also does octave band frequency analysis, has options for sound recording (ours do not have this feature enabled), and has an inbuilt shock detector that flags up events that might otherwise be overlooked. There is no other small, rugged dosemeter that does all this; and these remarkable little devices are what enable us to offer basic noise at work assessments, of up to two activities/processes, in the Norwich area for only £149 + VAT (terms and conditions apply and this offer only applies to the Norwich area – please contact us to enquire).
Here’s a YouTube video with the story behind the SV104: