HSE updates Noise Exposure Calculator – what this means
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently updated its online noise calculator tool for those undertaking noise risk assessments.
The Control of Noise Regulations 2005 require employers to carry out noise assessments when employees are exposed to potentially harmful levels of noise at work.
What does a noise assessment involve?
Noise assessments involve a two-stage process. The first stage involves identifying whether the noise level exceeds the HSE’s lower action level of 80 dB on average or 135 peak sound pressure.
The second stage is a more detailed analysis for those noise activities which have been identified in the first stage.
How is noise exposure calculated?
The HSE’s noise calculator is used in the second stage of the assessment. It enables an assessor to calculate a daily noise dose by entering data about the noise levels and the length of time employees are exposed to it.
It has three separate sections: a daily noise calculator which compares exposure values with legal limits; a calculator which allows for an assessment as to whether any hearing protection used is correctly rated; a calculator which allows an estimate of the weekly noise exposure to be calculated.
Who can carry out a noise level assessment?
The HSE hasn’t given any guidance on the competency of the person carrying out the assessment or on the type of noise measuring equipment used.
However, noise assessment is a specialist area which means that only someone with the appropriate training, experience and equipment will be likely to carry out the task properly.