From manufacturing and engineering, to the entertainment industry and schools, noisy environments need to be monitored both for the welfare of employees and the wider community. Following the introduction of The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, businesses need to be aware of their employees hearing needs; extensive noise surveys need to be carried out allowing preventative measures to be implemented, if necessary.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 was introduced in Great Britain in 2006 for the majority of industry sectors (the music and entertainment sectors followed suit in 2008). The aim of this legislation was to ensure that workers’ hearing is protected from excessive noise in the workplace that could cause them to lose their hearing and/or to suffer from tinnitus1.
If a worker’s daily exposure exceeds 80dB(A) then, although not compulsory, it is considered beneficial that hearing protection be worn and the relevant information and training provided to the worker. If the dose exceeds 85dB(A) then it is mandatory that hearing protection is supplied and hearing protection zones implemented.
dB Consultation, a specialist consultancy in acoustics, noise and vibration, believes that efficient and effective noise measurement equipment is pivotal to ensure the noise surveys it produces establish the correct course of action for its clients. Whilst a plethora of noise measurement equipment is available, channelling an instrument for the job in hand can sometimes be tricky.
Jody Blacklock, Acoustic Consultant at dB Consultation, comments: “For some of our consultation work, we need to measure noise levels that an individual is exposed to throughout the day. In the past, cumbersome pieces of equipment would have been used due to lack of choice, e.g. a plastic box mounted onto the body with numerous wires. Fortunately times have now changed and a new piece of equipment has been invented by Cirrus Research that answers all our needs – the doseBadge noise dosemeter!”
The doseBadge noise dosemeter is the perfect instrument for implementing a personal noise measurementprogramme. It is a wireless personal noise dosemeter that can be worn on an individual’s shoulder throughout the day. This allows the collation of vital noise statistics that will help inform the employer of potential noise risks to its workforce.
The doseBadge is small and lightweight, yet extremely robust and can be used in the toughest of environments. Its self-contained design, with no external controls, fragile displays, cables or microphones, helps reduce the risk of damage, misuse or tampering. The wearer can’t break the doseBadge by knocking or dropping it. They can’t catch it on anything or disconnect it from its power supply. In fact its operation cannot be impeded in anyway, either deliberately or accidentally. The result is that doseBadges can be used to measure and record occupational noise exposure, assess the risk of noise induced hearing loss and help organisations conform to The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005.
Jody continues: “One of our clients, operating in the automotive manufacturing industry, was concerned about the sound levels that its workforce was being exposed to. Consequently, the company required that its three shift operating systems were monitored, allowing noise level issues to be raised and ultimately recommendations to be made. We needed to be able to monitor the company’s production processes throughout the weekend, using a number of individual’s that carried out shift work. Therefore a flexible, easy to use, piece of personal noise measurement equipment was needed – Cirrus Research’s doseBadge was ideal for this task.
“Due to the simplicity of the equipment we were able to brief the workforce on how to operate the doseBadge through a five minute tutorial. The doseBadge is a reliable, robust, good all-in-one piece of equipment that can be cleverly used to measure an individual’s noise exposure in the workplace. It has a good battery life that allowed it to measure the entirety of an eight hour shift. Plus, during shift changes, it could be recharged quickly, allowing it to continue to monitor over a long period of time. It really is a user friendly piece of equipment that every noise consultant should own.”