Where an employee may be subjected to excessive noise in the workplace, employers are responsible for assessing noise levels and implementing controls as necessary.
Controls must reduce exposure below the Exposure Standard for noise, a twofold limit of an average sound level of 85dB(A) averaged over an 8hr working day, and a peak sound (pressure) level of 140dB(C).
Personal Monitoring (Dosimetry)
In noisy workplaces, the hearing of employees can be permenantly damaged by sudden loud noises, or an accumulation of excessive noise over time, which may be difficult to identify without monitoring.
We provide Personal Dosimetry as part of ongoing employee monitoring programs, and to help identify at risk workers.
Static Monitoring is a useful tool to show noise levels over the course of a work shift in specific areas. From the results of static monitoring, a Noise Map of the site can be documented.
Using data from Static Monitoring, we can advise on engineering controls, area designation, and protective equipment requirements.
Plant Noise Emissions
Individual items of plant, equipment and machinery in the workplace are usually the main contributors of noise.
Manufacturers, importers and suppliers of plant have a duty to provide information about the noise emissions of those items, as well as the methods used to monitor the emissions and operating conditions at the time.
If there are significant changes to noisy items or the workplace that may alter sound levels, such as relocating machinery or changing a manufacturing processes, noise emission data should be reviewed.
BENSS' Occupational Hygienists can assist with monitoring emissions, and advising on engineering controls and protective equipment requirements.
Noise levels throughout a workplace, or particular areas of a workplace, will vary depending on the locations of plant, equipment and machinery. Other factors such as the physical configuration of an area and building materials present will also affect noise emmissions and how sound levels are altered or transmitted.
Using Static Monitoring, or Spot Measurements, the results can be used to produce a Noise Map of the assessed areas. The Noise Map is a useful visual tool to easily identify higher risk locations, and assist with designating hearing protection zones.
Information in the form of a colour coded Noise Map can also be quickly conveyed to employees and site visitors.