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Noise and Vibration at Work Training Courses
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 are the United Kingdom’s response to a European Directive, which requires all member states to maintain similar laws regarding the protection of employees from harmful noise exposure in the workplace.
They are published by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
They have replaced the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and where applicable, they should be adhered to along with the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
As a result of the regulations, employers with operations in the UK have various duties and a responsibility to protect; their own employees; and so far as reasonably practicable any other person at their workplace who is affected by the work they do.
The regulations place certain duties and a responsibility on employees as well.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 Part 1
For any obligated organisation, the FIVE KEY REGULATIONS in Part 1 are:
Regulation 5 - Assessment of the risk to health and safety created by exposure to noise at the workplace
Regulation 6 - Elimination or control of exposure to noise at the workplace
Regulation 7 - Hearing protection
Regulation 8 - Maintenance and use of equipment
Regulation 9 - Heath surveillance
Regulation 10 - Information, instruction and training
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 Schedules 2 & 3
Schedules 2 and 3 of the regulations set out the mathematical equations required for the calculating levels of exposure to noise and peak noise, based on actual sound level meter measurements.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 Parts 2,3,4,5 & 6
These detailed parts of the regulations provide specific instructions to obligated organisations and are as follows:
Part 2 - Managing noise risks: Assessment and planning for control
Part 3 - Practical noise control
Part 4 - Selecting quieter tools and machinery
Part 5 - Hearing protection: selection, use care and maintenance
Part 6 - Health surveillance for hearing damage
Two Major Concepts That Dominate the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
A noise level scale to which exposure action values and exposure limit values have been applied by the HSE.
A employer duty to use personal protective equipment (PPE) only as a last resort and not instead of first attempting to identify and eliminate or reduce noise at source. Where PPE is used, it must be of a type and attenuation (noise level reduction) suitable for the wearer in his or her particular role/location.
The HSE deems that with very few exceptions, every organisation has a responsible person for maintaining a noise risk assessment and management plan. Un-substantiated blanket PPE policies are not acceptable. Keeping or maintaining a record of noise levels but failing to reduce noise where required is not acceptable either. The responsible person is accountable to the HSE even when noise assessment or noise assessment and control is outsourced to consultants.
The official HSE publication “Controlling Noise at Work: The control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 (Guidance on Regulations)” can be downloaded free from the HSE website. It is also available to buy in hard copy from the HSE and other online retailers (ISBN 0-7176-6164-4). The regulations have a Wikipedia entry as well.
The Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (IOSH) is a major authority on industrial noise. They provide the accreditation for the Focus Health and Safety Noise at Work Competency Courses, which are delivered by the Industrial Noise and Vibration Centre (INVC) Ltd.
Focus Health and Safety offer two types of Noise at Work training:
Self-employed people must also comply (in accordance with the responsibilities of both employer and employee).