Drop the volume New Zealand Safety Week
Noise induced hearing loss - Drop the volume!
Why care about noise in your workplace?
- Good employers care about their workers
- The costs of hearing loss are passed on to you through ACC levies
- The law requires it!
What does the Health and Safety Act tell us?
- Section 6: workplaces must take all practical steps to ensure the safety of employees
- Regulation 11
- sets the level of noise that should not be exceeded
- says hearing protection is only valid after all other practicable steps have been taken
So what are acceptable levels of noise?
‘Average’ level over eight hours = 85 dB
‘Peak’ (or upper limit) = 140 dB
So do I need to be a scientist?
NO! You can perform a Preliminary Noise Survey yourself
- If a there’s a problem you’ll need a detailed noise survey done by a “competent” person
- Take steps to control noise at the source
- Monitor the health effects of noise on your staff
Noise control options
- Control at source
- Control the noise path
- Protect the receiver
Modify process or equipment
Training & education
Plugs or Muffs
What can workplaces do to control noise?
For new workplaces or existing workplaces that are having new plant installed:
- Design the workplaces to be low noise environments
- Consider noise output when purchasing new plant and machinery– buy quiet!
For existing workplaces
- Write a noise control plan and set priorities
- Identify where noise cannot be controlled
- Consider how to reduce noise
Noise Exposure dB(A)
|Duration per day before damage occurs|
Consider how to reduce noise transmission
- Place noisy procsses in a separate part of the workplace
- Use soundproofing materials to prevent sound reflecting
- Enclose noisy machinery
- Build operators an enclosure to work in
- Eliminate excessive vibration
- Do noisy processes at times when others are not around
- Think about enclosures
- Protect people by
- Restricting their time in a noisy environment
- Training and supervision on how to work quietly
- Warn employees through signs
- As a final resort, have a hearing protector programme