Coronavirus Update - NOVA Acoustics Ltd remains open for business during this uncertain time following the COVID-19 outbreak.  All Government advice and recommendations are being followed by our staff and site engineers.  

×
×
×

Blog

What to consider when conducting a noise risk assessment

Posted in Featured, General on Aug 21, 2020

In recent years, the knowledge that noise at work can cause permanent and disabling hearing damage has impacted the design and construction of workplaces in the UK, especially those where manufacturing processes are part of the day-to-day activity.

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005) legislation made it compulsory for businesses to take action to both reduce exposure to noise wherever possible and to provide workers with training and equipment (personal hearing protection) to control the risk from noise. Under the terms of the act, employers also have a duty to carry out regular health surveillance and risk assessments to ensure that everything practicable has been done to mitigate the effects of exposure to noise.

Assessing the risk

The first step is to establish whether your workplace has a noise problem before deciding which steps to take to prevent harm. A few common-sense checks should give you a view of the level of risk presented and guide you towards establishing a sensible policy that has employees’ best interests at heart.

If your business includes noisy tasks – like construction, demolition, engineering or manufacturing, for example – has background noise levels that force employees to raise their voices in order to carry out a normal conversation or requires employees to use power tools on a regular basis, it’s likely you’ll need to take some action.

A noise risk assessment should:

  • Flag noise sources and consider whether the noise is intrusive
  • Identify who may be affected
  • Estimate the extent of employee exposure
  • Highlight essential compliance actions
  • Note any at-risk employees and recommend appropriate health surveillance

You’ll need to make a record of your findings and outline a plan of action – detailing the noise-control measures and/or protection equipment required – complete with a timetable. Make sure that your risk assessment is carried out by a competent assessor; use an external consultant if you’re unsure how to proceed.

Noise risk assessment tips

  • Pinpoint the locations you expect to have the highest noise levels and focus on these areas first.
  • Employees’ exposure to noise might vary during the day, so make sure you get a feel for the changing noise levels throughout the day.
  • Prioritise any employees who are showing early signs of hearing loss – check their use of hearing protection and provide more training and information.
  • You shouldn’t have to shout to hear someone standing a metre away. If this happens, measure sound levels and check them against exposure action values.
  • Don’t forget about the potential noise nuisance from mobile plant – map when and where it’s used and note which employees are being exposed.

Taking control of your environment

One of the best long-term fixes for excessive noise in the workplace is choosing quieter equipment. Whether you operate a buy or hire policy, begin consultations on replacement machinery at an early stage and ensure you specify low noise output levels.

Manufacturers have a legal responsibility to design and build machinery so that the noise produced is ‘as low as possible’, as well as to provide information about the noise machinery produces. Installation implementation and maintenance methods may all affect operating noise, so make sure you’re well informed at every stage. Keep a record of the decision-making process to prove you’ve paid attention to due diligence.

Focus your efforts on controlling noise risks and on reducing noise exposure with a planned programme of noise control. Often, a few simple and inexpensive actions can make a big difference.

  • Install sound-reducing screens or noise enclosures
  • Review your workplace layout to create quieter workstations
  • Limit the time workers spend in noisy areas

Hearing protection

You should issue personal hearing equipment to workers when extra protection is required over and above the additional sound-suppressing measures already implemented – or as a short-term fix (in the case of limited exposure to mobile machinery or traffic, for instance). It’s important to note that hearing protection shouldn’t be used as an alternative to introducing broader noise-control measures.

It’s your job to make sure that employees understand how to use hearing protectors effectively and to indicate where in the workplace the equipment should be used, via appropriate signage.

  • Choose a suitable (CE-marked) protection factor (delivering < 85dB at the ear)
  • Consider comfort and hygiene as well as compatibility with other protective equipment, such as hard hats or eyewear.
  • Ask wearers to report any defects or deterioration in condition.

Ask the experts

Nova Acoustics provides a bespoke and professional acoustic testing service for noise at work surveys. Contact us on 0113 322 7977 for expert advice from our friendly team.


Clients we’ve worked with

  • barnfield
  • bedford
  • barnfield
  • continental
  • essex
  • hobson
  • interserve
  • kfc
  • leicester
  • persimmon
  • puregym
  • snap
  • starbucks
  • tacobell
  • tower hamlets
  • ITV
  • Unilever
  • Sig
  • Leeds University
  • Morrisons
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • City of Stoke On Trent
  • Hambleton District
  • Calvert Trust
  • Aldi
  • Arnold Laver
  • Broadley
  • Engie
  • Gardiner Theo
  • Iggesund
  • Oxford University
  • PepsiCo
  • Richmonshire
  • Savills

Service Areas

We provide our services nationwide through our in-house network of local engineers... call to book now!

Service Map - NOVA Acoustics

Accreditations & Memberships

  • Builders Profile
  •  Institute Of Acoustics
  • SSIP
  • Construction Line
  • LABC
  • IEMA
  • HAS

testimonials

- Paul Hastings

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I engaged Nova at the outset of my project (which I recommend you do) to assist with providing a detailed material specification and installation guidance. There was always someone available to help with practical enquiries and advice...

- C.G. Henry

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I had Adam come round to a property which i thought was beyond repair. He gave sound advice with exact details of what needed to be carried out in the most cost effective manner. Once the works were carried out he returned, tested it...

- Andrew Youngson

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I have worked with the team at nova on a number of projects and have always been very helpful and competitively priced. Highly recommend this company for any sound test and report.

- Carol Chaplin

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service, engineer was very informative and helpful.  Good customer service being able to speak to knowledgeable people on the telephone when making inquires about the procedure involved for the sound testing of our property...

- Bun Bar

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Good efficient service. Recommend it to all.

Bright Construction UK Ltd

- Gavin Boby

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Very attentive and friendly service, keen to serve the client, and absolutely not about dragging the case out for fees - will work to save the client fees, and understand the practicalities of the case and the opposition that applications...

- Ejaz Shah

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Adam was very attentive and very professional answered all my questions and returned all calls the engineer arrived at the time agreed and again explained everything before carrying out the test , and we received our report within couple...

- Charles OKell

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Its a tricky area and you need the right support, Paul Robinson  brought Adam's team to the table and we'll be working together again in future for sure.

- Ainsley Black

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Although we had followed the building reg, in terms of sound insulation the property conversion still failed the sound Test. Adam was very helpful and professional and guided us to the point that when it was retested again we passed. Would...

- Robert Buchanan

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Friendly efficient and cost effective service, without complication

- Hepple Property Care Ltd

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Very quick service, would recommend to others

- Ian Fairbairn

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service and communication with all the members of staff we had dealings with.  A very professional approach and attitude by all.  An experience that is refreshing within the building sector and a company I could recommend...

- Daniel Cogdon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fast turn around and great service, recommended

- Allan Proctor

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service by Adam and the team at Nova. The service they delivered was efficient, competitive and I would highly recommend them!

- Carol Richards

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Having selected Nova Accoustics to perform a sound test on my latest project, I found the whole process completely professional, prompt & efficient .

The phone contact to set up the appointment was extremely  helpful...

- Michael Dickinson

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Having used Nova Acoustics on several projects, I would not hesitate in recommending this company.

- Steph Openshaw

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fantastic service very quick and punctual highly recommended.

- Chris Bullerwell

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Used Nova Acoustics to sound test a property we'd converted in the Newcastle area.

Excellent service from start to finish. Professional, helpful & reliable throughout...highly recommended.

- Andrew Holmes

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Really helpful team of people and very quick service, which was greatly appreciated.

- Siying Lid

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

We are a small design firm and NOVA Acoustics provided very sufficient services to our clients with reasonable price. And they are quick to respond too.  Highly recommended.

- Floors By Design Leicester

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Very good company, communicated all the way through.  Competitive pricing, I will be using them again in the near future.

- Stewart Greenhalgh

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

First Class, prompt professional service. I will recommend to other clients.

- Frank Kenny

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent  service so far and will be contacting them again for their services.

- Kelly Freakley

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Fantastic service from this company at a very reasonable price, would definitely recomend....

- Robert Myers

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I used Nova acoustics to sound test my basement flat conversion for the building control certificate

And found them to be professional and friendly. The test was done mid afternoon and I had received by six o'clock the same...

- Stephen Shaw

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service. Would recommend to anyone needing assistance with matters arising from acoustics and noise.

- Rick Parsons

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

iKoustic have worked with Nova Acoustics for some time now and they are constantly thorough, professional and super helpful in everything they do ... They are certainly our partner of choice ... Rick

- Carl Smoult

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Prompt, friendly, efficient, professional... would recommend and use again.

- Gary Oliver

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

As most of you reading this message are now probably aware  the difficulty of finding guidance and compliance of the part E building regulations is an arduous task. Well search no more! Adam at Nova Acoustics not only talked me through...

- Kate Whitehead

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Speedy quote, arranging the testing & report! Seb was really friendly & efficient onsite. Highly recommend!

- David Hope

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Came promptly at the requested time. Did the work professionally and in good time and provided the required reports so no issues or problems to report.

- Mark Girdham

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

NOVA provided a fast and efficient service. They came to carry out the sound tests on my 8 Bed HMO, which was a change of use from 4 flats. Very friendly and professional service. Mark (Hull)

- Simon Phillips

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent company, providing a professional service at a competitive price and a quick, hassle free  experience. I would recommend them to anyone.

Simon Phillips  Salisbury Poultry Ltd

- Peter Phillips

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent service from start to finish.

Highly professional team who where very accommodating to the team on site and worked exceptional well with everyone.

Having worked with other companies within the same...

- Claire Gannon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Excellent speedy service, Luigi was very proficient and professional at carrying out his job, a real asset to the company. Thank you Luigi. Kind Regards, Ant Mason