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Noise assessments, Leeds Bradford Halifax Huddersfield Hull Scarborough York, Yorkshire and Humberside

Sentient perform noise assessment surveys in Yorkshire and Humberside using our locally based consultants. A noise assessment should form part of your overall health and safety risk assessment. There is a legal requirement for noise assessments to be completed by employers when conditions in the workplace may lead to employees being exposed to daily or weekly noise levels of 80dB(A). Protective measures such as hearing protection, hearing tests and health screening must be put on place when noise levels exceed 85dB(A). Failure to do so could lead to action being taken by employees or the HSE.

What are the regulations?

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 reduced the noise threshold at which workplace noise must be addressed. They require employers to complete health and safety risk assessments where there is a threat to the safety of employees due to excessive noise in their place of work. Employers must also monitor noise levels in the work place and to take actions to eliminate or reduce employees’ exposure to high noise levels. Employers are obliged to monitor 2 key measurements. 

1.) The general noise levels employees are exposed to on a daily or weekly basis. Various actions must be taken at 80dB(A), and 85dB(A) with a maximum exposure level of 87dB(A) which must not be exceeded.

2.) The maximum noise level employees are exposed to which must not be exceeded. Various actions must be taken at 135db(C), 137dB(C), with a maximum noise level of 140dB(C) 

Typical noise levels for manufacturing processes and common operations

The processes listed below are particularly (but not exclusively) associated with high noise levels.

Glass bottling lines: 85-100dB(A)

Product impact on hoppers: 90-100dB(A)

Wrapping, cutting wrap, bagging etc: 85-95dB(A)

Bowl choppers: > 90db(A)

Pneumatic noise and compressed air: 85-95dB(A)

Milling operations: 85-100dB(A)

Saws/cutting machinery: 85-107dB(A)

Blast chillers/freezers: 85-107dB(A)

Packaging machinery: 85-95dB(A)

Wheeled trolleys/racks: up to 107dB(A) (from wheel bearings)

(Source HSE 2016)

Why are noise assessments important? 

Everyone has probably experienced a temporary ringing in the ears after attending a noisy concert or social gathering but these symptoms tend to disappear after a few hours. Infrequent exposure to high noise levels can cause temporary or sometimes permanent damage to hearing.  However repeated exposure to high noise levels may result in permanent hearing loss, tinnitus or other health problems.

It is estimated that about 2 million people in the UK may be exposed to harmful noise levels in their workplace. An estimated 15,000 people working during 2014 suffered from Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) caused or made worse by work. (Source HSE) The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme (IIDB) had 130 new claims in 2014 compared with 120 in 2013. Since 2012 there have been more than 200,000 civil claims in the UK courts for industrial deafness (Source: Association of British Insurers)

How are noise assessments conducted?

All noise assessments are completed by our fully trained and qualified consultants and comply with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. In order to understand your current working practices they will ask about your existing noise control measures, noise management procedures and provisions in place to protect hearing. Our consultants will work with you to help mitigate noise and develop a noise control strategy.

Noise assessments will be completed to measure and map

  • Personal exposure to noise
  • Frequency analysis of noise sources to determine the effectiveness of any hearing protection

All noise assessments produce a comprehensive report with the results of the survey, an appraisal of your premises and recommendations on reducing and controlling noise exposure. It will also identify any measures needed to meet regulations and recommendations for updating noise policies. Our noise assessment consultants are also available for noise awareness training. 

Reviewing noise assessments

HSE guidance “Controlling Noise at Work L108” stipulates that you should review your noise assessmensts every two years even if you consider there have been no significant changes to noise levels during this period.  


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