Exposure to excessive noise can permanently damage your hearing. The Noise at Work Regulations require that assessment of noise levels must be made wherever there is a noisy environment. In any cases of excessive noise, steps must be taken to reduce this at source. If this is not practicable, then ear protection must be made available to employees, who must wear it in any prescribed areas of high noise level.
The lower exposure level (first action level) is 80dB(A) as an 8-hour time-weighted average (8-hour TWA). This is the level at which hearing protection must be made available.
The upper exposure level (second action level) is 85dB(A) (8-hour TWA). This is the level above which engineering controls should be used as far as is reasonably practicable to reduce the noise exposure, for example by noise enclosure of equipment, silencers, sound refuges etc.
Where noise levels remain above this the area will become a compulsory hearing protection area.
There is also an Exposure Limit Value of 87dB(A) (8-hour TWA). This is the level of noise above which a person may not be exposed having taken into account the noise controls to be used and the pattern of exposure.
The peak sound pressure level is 137dB(C) - i.e. from instantaneous or percussive operations.
It is the aim of the University to minimise the risk of noise-induced hearing damage to all who may be affected, by keeping exposure to noise as low as is reasonably practicable and where the Upper Action Value is likely to be exceeded, control measures will be put in place to reduce it.
The University Policy gives further detail concerning the control of noise in the workplace.
The University has appropriate equipment for carrying out noise monitoring. To request a noise survey, please email the Safety Office.
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