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Noise at work can cause permanent and disabling hearing damage. This can be gradual hearing loss because of exposure over time, but also immediate damage caused by sudden, extremely loud noises.
The damage can prevent people understanding speech or communicating effectively, which adds further risks to the workplace as well as daily.
Another risk is developing tinnitus, a distressing condition which can also lead to disturbed sleep.
You probably need to do something about noise if any of the following apply in your workplace:
■ The noise is intrusive – for example, as noisy as a busy road, a vacuum cleaner or a crowded restaurant – or worse than intrusive, for most of the working day;
■ Your employees have to raise their voices to carry out a normal conversation when about 2m apart for at least part of the day;
■ Your employees use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day;
■ Your sector is one known to have noisy tasks, e.g. construction, demolition or road repair; woodworking; plastics processing; engineering; textile manufacture; general fabrication; forging or stamping; paper or board making; canning or bottling; foundries; waste and recycling;
■ There are noises due to impacts (such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc), explosive sources such as cartridge-operated tools or detonators, or guns.
If any of these statements apply, it is likely you will need to take further action. You should carry out a risk assessment to decide what action is needed and develop a plan. Further details on how to undertake a risk assessment can be found on the HSE web site: www.hse.gov.uk.
Part of that risk assessment will involve taking noise measurements in the workplace. Shawcity supplies a range of sound and noise instruments from leading manufacturers such as 3M and Svantek, suitable for both personal and area monitoring.
From simple personal noise level meters through to complex four-channel sound and vibration analysers, we offer a diverse range of solutions for many applications. Available to buy, the majority are also available to hire for short-term projects.
For more information or to discuss your sound and noise monitoring requirements, feel free to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 01367 899565.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.