Protect Your Hearing, Protect Your Health
Today is International Noise Awareness Day. Why does this awareness day exist you may wonder? The day aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of noise on hearing, health, and quality of life.
Noise can cause hearing loss in the long run, sleep disturbance, negative effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic system, as well as cognitive impairment in children. It’s estimated that noise pollution contributes to 48,000 new cases of ischaemic heart disease a year as well as 12,000 premature deaths.
The Law and Noise in the Workplace
By law, noise must be controlled to ensure that employees are protected from unnecessary risk.
The purpose of the Noise Regulations 2005 is to make sure that people do not suffer damage to their hearing – so controlling noise risks and noise exposure should be where you concentrate your efforts.
The level at which employers must provide hearing protection and hearing protection zones is 85 dB(A) (daily or weekly average exposure) and the level at which employers must assess the risk to workers’ health and provide them with information and training is 80 dB(A).
How to Manage Noise at Work
The best way to manage noise in the workplace is by having a competent person measure noise levels to identify any issues and advise on any appropriate action controls.
Candy Management Consultants are a team of experts on all things Health and Safety and ISO related serving clients nationwide in a variety of different industries. We can help identify your noise levels and support you in managing them.
Noise level detection is included with all our Health and Safety related services. Your consultant will use a noise meter whilst onsite to take a reading and identify any locations where there are noise problems. They will then advise on what further steps should be taken.
Regular Checks are Vital
Once measures are implemented, then you are certainly helping to create a safer workplace – but it doesn’t end there. Noise control in the workplace is a process that requires regular inspections of equipment and the surrounding environment to ensure that the controls are still in place and processes are being adhered to. Wear and tear of machinery can cause excess noise and parts may need to be replaced to provide appropriate noise suppression.
It’s also imperative that employees understand why noise management in the workplace is vital. They will be more inclined to comply if they understand why they must wear ear protection, get frequent hearing exams, or take breaks after using a piece of machinery for a given amount of time.
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