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Use these five steps to assess noise pollution in your workplace

by , 21 October 2013
Loud or excessive noise levels can damage the sensitive nervous tissue in the ear. This can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss. But there's a way to keep noise at the right levels. Use these five steps to assess noise pollution in your workplace so you don't end up with an inbox full of COID claims.

You need to protect your employees from the effects of noise pollution.

How do you do this?

Assess noise pollution in your workplace.

Want to assess noise pollution in your workplace? Use these five steps to do just that

Step #1: Assess noise sources

'A workplace assessment or inspection will tell you which areas in your workplace have high noise levels. To do the assessment, you must measure sound levels according to the Noise-induced Hearing Loss Regulation 7 (2) (c),' says the Health & Safety Advisor.

You need to do this assessment every 24 months. If you find that the sound level is 85dB or higher, you must control noise exposure, adds the Advisor.

Step #2: Identify existing noise controls

In this step, you must see what can be done to control the noise that you picked up in your assessment.

Step #3: Assess the time of exposure

This is where you document how often and for how long your workers are exposed to the noise.

Step #4: Implement controls

If you identify unacceptable noise zones, follow these six guidelines (Noise-induced Hearing Loss Regulation):

  1. First try to reduce the level to below 85dB(A) where you can;
  2. Demarcate the noise zone boundaries by placing notices (symbolic signs) in places along the noise area;
  3. Prohibit any employee from entering without wearing hearing protective equipment such as earplugs or earmuffs;
  4. Issue hearing equipment free of charge;
  5. Limit the exposure time; and
  6. Do audiometric testing of employees once a year.

Make sure you know exactly who's affected by the noise. Buy the necessary protective equipment and give it to all your affected employees. They must know how to use it, why to use it and what'll happen if they don't use it.

Step #5: Measure sound levels every two years

Conduct sound level measurement at least once a year. You must do these measurements according to the Noise-induced Hearing Loss Regulation.

It's that simple. With these steps you'll be sure to assess noise pollution in your workplace and protect your employees from loud levels.



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