Noise Monitoring Survey
What is a noise survey?
A noise survey involves taking noise measurements throughout an entire plant or a particular section to identify noisy areas. A survey is used to establish whether employees are being exposed to occupational noise levels exceeding the exposure limits set by the regulations (in the UK, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005) or even the limits set by the company. It is worth noting that the UK is not alone in this and that numerous countries have developed workplace standards to ensure that the average level to which an employee is exposed during an 8-hour day does not exceed 85dB(A).
Why carry out a noise survey?
Noise surveys provide useful information which enables a safety professional to identify:
- Areas where employees are likely to be exposed to harmful levels of noise
- Machines and equipment which generate harmful levels of noise
- Operatives who might be exposed to unacceptable noise levels
The survey should be conducted in an environment where noise is likely to be harmful such as, for example, an assembly line or workshop. In most instances, the survey will involve measuring noise levels with a sound level meter. Noise level readings are taken at a suitable number of positions around the noisy area. A noise map can be produced by drawing lines on a sketch between points of equal sound level, these maps provide very useful data by clearly identifying zones where there are noise hazards.