Ensures that the noise levels in the workplace are not harmful to the workers
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A noise risk assessment is conducted to identify sources of noise risks and how they affect employees. Noise assessments are required to protect the health and safety of workers. It ensures that the noise levels in the workplace should not exceed the regulatory levels.
Employers must provide their staff exposed to noise levels that are 85 decibels and above with hearing protection. They should also designate hearing protection zones to protect the workers. Employees who are exposed to high noise levels should also undergo hearing tests regularly.
A noise risk assessment will help:
1. How to identify noise hazards at work
2. How to eliminate noise hazards
3. Advantages of a digital tool for noise risk assessments
Noise becomes hazardous when it begins to interfere with communication and causes health problems. This kind of noise usually measures 85 decibels and above.
A typical conversation is usually around 55 decibels, while a drill or chainsaw is about 110 decibels. But if you have no measuring tools to determine the noise level, here are some practical ways to identify a noise hazard.
Noise hazards at work can be eliminated by using two types of controls — administrative and engineering. Administrative controls are changes that can limit or remove a worker’s exposure to noise hazards. Engineering controls are changes that decrease the sound level in the workplace.
Eliminating noise hazards can be costly. Here are some cost-effective ways to reduce the risk of noise hazards.
A well-oiled machine will function correctly and with less noise. Regular maintenance inspections will prolong the life of the machine and ensure that it is working at its optimum performance. Most of all, it reduces potential noise hazards that an ill-maintained device might have.
Limiting the shifts of employees exposed to noise hazards is a type of administrative control. By having shorter shifts, their exposure to hazardous noise becomes limited as well. Consequently, it will also reduce negative health effects in their body.
Limiting the work hours of employees is also cost-effective. According to a case study conducted by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), fixing a worker’s hearing is more expensive than managing the noise hazard. It is cheaper than running a hearing conservation program for employees.
Enclosing the cause of the noise is a simple and less expensive way of reducing the noise hazard. It is also the best solution if you cannot move heavy machinery to another place. An enclosure will muffle the sound of the machine.
If people must operate these machines, management should limit their shifts to avoid too much exposure.
There is personal protective equipment (PPE) that can cancel the noise. Some of this includes earplugs or earmuffs. However, PPEs should only be used in workplaces with low levels of noise hazards or just as a temporary solution.
Noise hazards are among the most significant risks in the workplace. This makes it all the more important to conduct regular noise risk assessments to identify and eliminate hazards at an early stage. Traditionally, such assessments are conducted with pen and paper. However, this method is prone to lose, damage, and unauthorized access. Switching to digital forms and checklists offers companies many benefits for document management and workplace safety.
With Lumiform's mobile app and desktop software, audits and inspections can be conveniently conducted on-site without the need to revise the data afterward. After each noise risk assessment, the collected data is immediately stored digitally, securely, and centrally in the cloud. This means that all responsible employees have immediate access to the information. But that's just one of the benefits Lumiform offers companies in managing their occupational health and safety measures:
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