In this blog post, we will discuss the findings of the noise at work survey and what they mean for workers and employers alike.
By the law, the employer is responsible for keeping you safe from noise exposure. The laws, however, only address health concerns and not comfort.
According to health research, the standard sets a decibel limit of 85 for daily noise exposure. The phrase daily means that noise levels must not exceed 85 dB when averaged over 8 hours, and if they do, you must use hearing protection.
Yes, it is quite loud. People may not be able to focus or communicate properly at this level of noise. A quiet workplace noise level is generally around 50 decibels.
If you feel your workspace is too noisy, you may use a smartphone app to check it first. The reading will not be correct, but at least it will show you where you stand: are you at 50 decibels, 60 decibels, or perhaps 80 decibels?
Once you’ve decided to file a complaint, the employer should continue with the noise survey. The measurement of noise varies by country, and it’s frequently carried out by a noise consultant with accreditation for this work.
The noise survey is carried out with a hand-held sound level meter such as SV 973 class 2 sound level meter. It’s called “noise sweeping” and the aim is to determine noise levels more accurately than your mobile app. The next step is to perform noise monitoring with a noise dosimeter once the high levels of noise have been verified.
You’d wear a noise dosimeter on your shoulder, close to your ear, to assess what you hear. The procedure would last the full working day, generally three or five days in a row. After such monitoring, the data would be analyzed to check the real noise exposure you are experiencing.
The modern noise dosimeters such as SV 104 noise dosimeter are too smart to be fooled. They use the frequency analysis, movement detection, or even sound recording to determine if the noise is genuine and not caused by knocking the dosimeter.
The noise consultant will issue a report indicating the noise exposure and how it compares to noise restrictions after the measurements are completed and data analyzed. Consultants also offer advice on future actions. As a result, it’s back to the employer for further improvements!