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Occupational noise assessment

The Benchmark for Occupational Noise Assessments

SoundBreaking risk assessment

A noise assessment is an investment that should pay for itself – not a placebo check-box exercise… HSE data indicates that most noise assessments are “inadequate” and that a reassessment is required.
occupational noise assessment and risk management under the CoNAWR regulations

Our template occupational noise assessment report is the industry benchmark – as the IOSH competency training organisation, we train assessors and get to review a wide cross section of (depressing) noise assessments. Our reports provide a programme of action that details precisely what constitutes “best practice” to meet all the requirements of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations in your specific circumstances. It is a pragmatic working document, designed for the use of managers and safety professionals, enabling them to implement effective action to manage the risks as cost effectively as practical. In many cases, they are issued “as is” as a statement of company policy. Get a free copy of the Digital Noise Assessment report template documents here.

INVC Assessments Assessed – “… exactly the way assessments should be presented… loved the way the technical details are separated from the practical recommendations… the action plan section is ideal… particularly impressed by the low costs associated with the noise control options to actually solve some of the problems…”

Digital Noise Assessment (DNA) – Optimise and Automate Occupational Noise Assessment

The opportunity to reduce the costs, resources and time required to manage the risks of noise at work by 90% +…
digital noise assessment template documentsOur Digital Noise Assessment (DNA) provides you with benchmark high quality report and presentation templates that cover all the requirements of the noise regulations – including the all important practical and pragmatic plan of action. It also puts your noise measurements and risk assessments on the company server so that you can find and use the information fast. We provide the initial template so that future updates can be implemented quickly and cheaply in-house. In addition, DNA can also include a comprehensive evaluation of the noise control options using the best of current technology. The template noise assessment report documentation is available through various organisations at no cost here…

  • Speed: template noise assessment report format and tools make assessments and updates much faster and easier
  • Reduced Costs: instant access to past data reduces the costs of potential claims by at least an order of magnitude
  • Effective Action and Distribution: an Action Plan that encourages effective and practical action
  • Quality and Accuracy: Digital Noise Assessment provides a benchmark template that is a distillation of best practice
  • Record Keeping, Accessibility: all noise assessment data is instantly accessible – a Cure for Corporate Amnesia
Download DNA + noise assessment technical notes >

Noise Control Audit – a mandatory requirement of the noise at work regulations

assess noise control option to eliminate hearing protectionThe occupational Control of Noise at Work Regulations require a seismic shift in attitude to noise management in the workplace. Quoting the guidance – “these regulations are concerned with controlling noise, not measuring it…”. Consequently, companies must quantify their noise control options rather than simply repeating placebo risk assessments that usually include little or no information on the topic.

PPE can no longer be used for long term risk management unless it can be proved that noise control is impractical.

We provide the audit as an integral part of our benchmark noise assessments. However, it can also be commissioned to update an existing conventional noise assessment so that it meets the regulatory requirements. It can also be used in place of a repeat risk assessment – saving the associated costs.

Instead of paying for unnecessary repeat risk assessments under the new regulations, implement a noise control programme that actually reduces the risks – and potentially pays for itself …

The engineering audit generates a costed list of the noise control options and associated benefits either for a single machine or for a whole site using the best of current technology. The results not only provide the basis for planning the most practical and cost effective noise control programme possible, they also provide certification that PPE can be used in areas where it can be shown that noise control is not practical.

Download noise control information >

Moving Noise Assessment Updates In-House to Reduce Costs

Noise Measurement Training Workshop and In-house Assessment Technical Support

The regulations require only that you review noise assessments every two years. Consequently, provided you have a high quality template noise assessment report, updating it in-house is a quick and painless process that can save you a small (or even not such a small) fortune. We have devised an “a la carte” menu of technical support options to help companies do just this. Simply select the items you need from the list below and contact us to discuss the details of how we can help you..

Noise measurement training workshops
One day practical workshop designed to ensure that delegates can make accurate noise measurements and can update previous assessments. We run these as public courses on a regular basis, but can also run them in-house using your own site for the practical work.

Accompanied noise assessments
Carry out your initial assessment update on a part (or the whole) of a site in the company of one of our engineers. This provides hands-on experience with the reassurance that the process and techniques are to the required standard. It can also be extended to include updating or establishing new templates and adding the noise control element (see below).

Template noise assessment report
If you do not have an existing noise assessment template that is of sufficient quality, we can carry out an assessment of part (or the whole) of a typical site or department and provide you with a DNA template for future use across the company. Other areas and future assessments can then be updated in-house

Noise Control Audit
This is available as a stand-alone element to update an existing noise assessment by adding the required evaluation of the the noise control options. See above (or the noise control web page) for more details.

Noise Assessment Quality Check-List – what should you expect from a good noise assessment?

The CoNaW Regulations require a substantial change in attitude compared with the “traditional” and prevalent approach to noise assessment as a “check-box ” process. Ultimately, the only reason to carry out a noise assessment is to establish an Action Plan for the next 2 years based on current best practice in risk management.

Control of Noise at Work Regulations – Noise Assessment Expectations

Re-assessment may not be necessary – provided you have good existing data, a review and minor update may be all that is needed. However, the noise assessment must provide you with a detailed programme of action. Investing in a high quality and practical assessment as a template for future updates is good practice . In addition, an evaluation of the noise control options is required as controlling noise is a priority – PPE cannot be used as a long term solution unless it can be proved that noise control is not practical.

Quoting the HSE:- “…these regulations are concerned with controlling noise, not measuring it….. Health surveillance can be regarded as a tax on the failure to control risk…… the most important thing about the risk assessment is that it identifies, in an action plan, what needs to be done to protect employees from the noise. Employers would be expected to use the information and action plan produced by the risk assessment to set about managing noise risks…… if solutions have been identified “stop assessing and start controlling…..”

noise measurement  –  risk assessment  –  noise control options  –  Action Plan

The following is an outline of the key elements and features that you should expect to be included under each of the 4 headings in any practical and effective noise assessment report, whether in-house or via a consultant.

Noise Measurement

Include noise level figures on a CAD drawing or table or in a database for mobile plant and equipment

Do not use reference numbers on plans linked to tables of noise data – this is both inefficient and annoying….

Include the minimum data for each measurement point: Leq, peak – plus octave bands only when absolutely necessary

Do not download interminable and irrelevant data from your digital SLM e.g. Lns, Lmin, Lmax, SEL, octaves….

Risk Assessment

ID employees exposed above Action Values, provide estimated LEP,d values and how the dose is acquired (sources)

Evaluation of effectiveness of current risk management procedures and where legal requirements are not met

Noise Control Options

Audit the noise control options (options, costs, benefits and priorities) and evaluate existing noise control measures

Action Plan

Short term: PPE zones and signs; types and availability of PPE; employee training requirements…

Longer Term: noise control programme; Buy Quiet policy; company procedures / responsibilities; health surveillance

Download DNA + noise assessment technical notes >

Bespoke Noise Risk Assessment for Complex Projects

Assessing the potential risks to hearing for some types of exposure can be complex projects that involve combinations of expertise and experience across a number of noise measurement and evaluation techniques and technologies that are well outside the experience of most organisations. Examples from past projects include:-

  • explosives / guns / grenades etc: very high peak noise levels that are above those that can be accommodated by conventional instrumentation (c 140dB peak limit). We have specialised instrumentation that can handle noise peaks of around 170dB
  • dangerous monitoring conditions: e.g road traffic (refuse collection, police, fire and highway services etc); water jetting (remote monitoring required); weapons testing etc. Bespoke monitoring systems and measurement techniques plus adaptation of instrumentation is often required
  • headsets / helmets / radios: e.g. police control centres; police on the beat; call centres; motorcyclists; traffic police, pilots / aircraft personnel etc. We use specialist in-ear monitors, manikin heads and our own bespoke instrumentation and techniques

In many cases, projects may include more than one of these unusual circumstances and it is therefore necessary to develop the optimum practical and safe noise risk assessment strategy for the particular circumstances. Contact us if you would have a complex assessment project that you would like to discuss.