Can you hear me?

It is now EIGHT years since the new standards in the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 were introduced.

Try the following quiz to review your knowledge.

1. What action must be taken if an employee’s typical daily exposure exceeds 80 decibels?

2. What are the three different types of ear defenders available to reduce noise exposure?

3. If ear defenders are worn what is the maximum permissible noise at the hearing mechanism of the wearer i.e. taking into account the protection ear defenders give.

 4. What does the term dB(A) mean?

5. What does the term dB(C) mean?

6. What does this picture show evidence of?

7. What information should be recorded on a noise risk assessment?

8. What is the level of noise which a person must not be exposed to even for the shortest periods of time?


How did you do?  Answers

1. The employer must carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment/ Eliminate or reduce noise exposure/provide suitable ear defenders/ health surveillance to those at risk/maintain equipment (to reduce noise) Provide employees with training and information on the noise hazard.

2. Ear muffs, plugs and valves

3. 87dB(A) – e.g. if the noise source is 105dB(A) the ear defenders must reduce it to less than 87dB(A). The data provided with the ear protection must therefore be checked to see if it is blocking out sufficient noise.

4. These are the sounds which the human hearing mechanism can hear

5. Peak or maximum sound level—usually impact sounds which, although short duration, are loud and contribute to the daily dose of sound exposure.  

6. Noise induced hearing loss – where perception to certain tones of sound is lost permanently due to the loss of cilia or hairs in the cochlea.

7. Noise sources/exposure/No. of people exposed/equipment used /calibration/name of person completing the RA /plan of work area/daily dose calculations/recommendations.

8. 140 dB—this is the threshold of pain and permanent damage for the human hearing mechanism