If you operate a workplace where noise is suspected to be a hazard, you should conduct a risk assessment for noise, also known as a noise assessment.
Do you need to perform a Noise Assessment?
One of the first questions an employer has to decide is whether they need a noise survey in the first place; the initial decision can be a bit of guesswork but the following are useful signs to look out for:
Talking loudly to be understood: if you have to raise your voice for others to hear what you are saying, it suggests that background noise levels could be higher than they should be.
Ears ringing: if employees complain that their ears ring when they go somewhere quiet it could suggest that the regular noise levels are too high.
Manufacturer Information: if the manufacturers of equipment that you use in your employment state that the noise emitted by the equipment is above 85 decibels you should probably arrange a noise survey.
Types of Survey Equipment
There are two main types of noise meters; Type 2 is the minimum standard for assessments that are in compliance with Noise regulations. Type 1 is more reliable and offers a greater level of accuracy.
There are two main methods of measuring the noise levels; one is using the handheld machines that can be moved around the premises measuring the amount of decibels to which employees are exposed during their working day. The other features employees wearing ‘dosemeters’ which come in the form of metal badges. These can be worn by employees and the information downloaded at the end of a working day, enabling the entire day’s sound exposure to be monitored.
In addition to measuring how much noise employees are exposed to, it is important to identify what kind of frequencies are involved; different types of hearing protection are suitable for different frequency exposure and the appropriate form of protection must be provided.
Has your hearing been damaged through your employment?
If you have worked in a noisy environment and your employer has not taken the suitable steps to minimise the risk of damage to your hearing, then you could be entitled to claim for compensation. Our solicitors have years of experience in handling these types of cases and are best placed to advise you as to whether you are eligible to make a claim. Contact us today to find out how much your claim could be worth.