Noise measurement specialist Richard Wilson of the The Event Safety Shop, along with a number of colleagues, measured and monitored occupational noise levels at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival to ensure that the noise exposure of festival staff and concession workers was in-line with the Noise at Work Regulations.
The sheer size of Glastonbury covering some 900 acres as the largest greenfield festival in the world, posed a challenge with Richard employing some innovative tactics to ensure his noise measurements were accurate and valid.
With 200,000 festival goers and approximately 60,000 staff on site, Richard also had to use all of his negotiation skills to enforce compliance and understanding of noise levels as a serious health issue.
Richard commented “Recent changes to the Noise at Work regulations meant that they now apply to festivals so my work begins with a visual survey of the site to pinpoint where we see a need for ear protection in noise hot spots and estimate how many staff will need ear plugs or other protection. We aim to have over 70% compliance as a general rule of thumb at any one time and this would cover everyone from festival staff, traders and concession employees.”
“Using the data, we create a noise map of the site and then work up red, amber and green zones which range from constant noise levels that require mandatory ear protection to be worn, through to warnings of intermittent excess noise or low risk areas.”
“With this kind of situation we have to negotiate and persuade, but we also understand it is problematic if bar staff wearing ear plugs can’t hear the customers properly. The data we collect from the doseBadge and using the optimus red sound level meter gives us the evidence we need to make the case and we are able to show the high level readings and come up with a solution.”