Hearing protection

Hearing protection can help when complying with a noise risk assessment

Posted: 24th September 2021

What to consider when conducting a noise risk assessment

The requirement for businesses to reduce employees’ exposure to noise is enshrined in law. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) make it mandatory for employers to take positive action, by providing staff with the appropriate equipment and training. Employers have a legal duty to monitor noise levels by carrying out a workplace noise risk assessment, so that comprehensive measures can be implemented to keep colleagues safe.

Assess the risk with a noise assessment

As an employer, your first step is to decide whether a noise problem exists in the workplace so that appropriate countermeasures can be put in place. Consider whether colleagues must talk loudly or shout to be heard over workplace noise as this will indicate that a problem exists. The regular use of power tools will also suggest that a formal noise at work risk assessment should be carried out.

A noise risk assessment will:

  • Identify the sources of excessive noise and determine whether it is intrusive.
  • Identify which members of staff are affected.
  • Identify employees who may be particularly at-risk to ensure their health is monitored.
  • Estimate the extent to which employees are exposed to high level of noise.
  • Identify compliance actions that are mandatory, as well as other best-practice methods that may be considered.

The assessment should be carried out by a qualified and experienced assessor to ensure that its findings are thorough and accurate.

Important points to remember in a noise risk assessment

A noise assessment should be comprehensive to ensure that no areas or risks are missed. It’s important to bear in mind that, if your business’s daily operations vary, a risk may not be apparent at the time of the assessment, so consideration should be given to excessive noise that occurs periodically as well.

  • Identify the locations in your workplace where the highest level of noise is likely and focus on these places initially.
  • If colleagues are already displaying signs of hearing loss, check if their hearing protection is adequate and whether further training is required.
  • Track the use of mobile plant, considering who uses it, when, and where.

Next steps

Once the noise assessment is completed, you will need to undertake some important steps:

  • Record the findings of the assessment.
  • Create an action plan that details the noise control measures and/or personal protective equipment that will be required.
  • Ensure that each action has a deadline for its completion.

Contact ACA Acoustics for professional noise risk assessments

At ACA Acoustics, we’ve carried out expert noise assessments all over the UK for a variety of industries and can guarantee a reliable service. To find out more about our noise assessments, call us on 01793 766324.


Posted By:ACA Acoustics