Workplace Noise Monitoring

The Control of Noise Regulations 2005 requires employers to assess the risks to their employees from workplace noise. Moreover, they must act to reduce the noise exposure that produces those risks.

The LEP,d is a measure of a worker’s daily exposure to workplace noise. We calculate this from the LAeq dB value by normalising it to an 8-hour period. Where a worker’s exposure consists of a series of different noise levels, it is necessary to calculate the combined exposure or LEP,d from a time weighted average, using the duration of each noise level.

In summary, this LEP,d is the parameter used by the noise regulations and is essential in assessing a worker’s exposure and what actions are necessary.

Workplace Noise Action Values and Exposure Limits

Sound pressure level meter for workplace noise assessments

The noise regulations specify actions necessary when daily or weekly workplace noise exposures exceed specific levels. These specific Values are:

  • Firstly, the Lower Exposure Action Value – a daily or weekly exposure to workplace noise (an LEP,d) of 80 dB
  • After that, the Upper Exposure Action Values – a daily or weekly exposure to workplace noise (an LEP,d) of 85 dB
  • Finally, the Exposure Limit Value – a daily or weekly exposure of 87 dB which workers must not exceed

In addition to the daily and weekly exposure action values and exposure limit, there are peak levels that the noise must not exceed. These measurements are made using C-weighting and are expressed as LCpeak in dB(C). The LCpeak assesses workplace noises that are present as loud impulse noises or bangs.

The noise regulations specify the actions that employers need to take when peak noise levels exceed the limits. These limit values are: 

  • Lower Exposure Action Value for peak sound pressure is an LCpeak 135 dB
  • Upper Exposure Action Values for peak sound pressure is an LCpeak of 137 dB
  • Exposure Limit Value is a peak sound pressure is an LCpeak of 140 dB

Synergy can undertake all of your Workplace Noise Monitoring requirements from measurements of sound pressure levels during single activities to personal noise dose measurements for individual members of staff. We also advise you on the actions necessary to comply with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and the hearing protection that is most suitable for each task.

Further reading.
The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
Exposure calculators and ready reckoners.
HSE List of Frequently asked questions.

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