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A Bromhead
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A Bromhead

Introduction

Employers must conduct a noise survey if employees are likely to be exposed to more than 80 dB(A). The Health and Safety Executive give some examples of when this is likely:
Test
Probable noise level
A noise survey will be needed if the noise is like this for more than:
The noise is intrusive but normal conversation is possible
80 dB
6 hours
You have to shout to talk to someone 2 m away
85 dB
2 hours
You have to shout to talk to someone 1 m away
90 dB
45     inutes
 
Some other occasions when a noise survey might be required are:
  • You use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour a day.
  • You work in a noisy industry such as construction, road repair, engineering or manufacturing
  • Your work causes impacts such as hammering, drop forging, pneumatic impact tools etc.
If you have previously had a noise survey undertaken, it will need to be reviewed if there are changes to your workplace and work processes – or after 2 years for this regime.
 
What does a noise survey involve?
Alistair Bromhead is an Institute of Acoustics certified competent person for the conduct of workplace noise assessments. He would visit your site to take measurements with a hand held meter and also with small dosemeters that clip onto individuals. This would establish where noise levels reach certain thresholds requiring control.
We would provide a report on the noise levels along with recommendations based upon the hierarchy provided by the HSE guidance.
  • Reduce the level of noise to the lowest level reasonably practicable:
o   Elimination of unnecessary noise – e.g. turning off radios, mending air leaks and switching off machinery when not required
o   Reduction of other forms of noise – e.g. use of low noise tooling / blades in machinery and ensuring the maintenance of exhausts on staple guns
o   Damping of rattling and reverberating surfaces – e.g. the side panels of fixed machines
o   Insulation – enclosure of noisy machines  
o   Reduce exposure duration – use of task rotation with some time spent in quieter areas
  • Provide hearing protection if there is still residual risk – the options above should be considered first
We would also make recommendations as to where any hearing protection zones need to be and what would be suitable types of hearing protection. Many sites simply chose one from a catalogue and are unaware that as well as needing to protect from unwanted sound, the HSE requires that workers are not overprotected. Too much hearing protection is dangerous as it cocoons the worker in a quiet bubble, so they are less aware of certain hazards around them.
 
Cost
For smaller sites (typically less than 75 employees) we simply charge a fee of £850 + VAT for the noise survey and report. If more than one day is required on-site, due to the range of different processes or the size of the site, a 2 day survey would cost £1500 + VAT. We do not charge travel expenses unless the site is particularly distant &/or we have significant travel which we cannot combine with other visits.
 
For a no obligation discussion, please drop us an email: info@abromhead.co.uk or call 07932 674707

Further Information

 
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