Prevention of hearing loss

Prevention of hearing loss -alasivu

Once the daily noise exposure of each worker and the peak sound pressure/level have been established, they must be compared against the noise exposure action values and limit values.

  Daily noise exposure Peak sound pressure level
Lower action value 80 dB   112 Pa / 135 dB
Upper action value 85 dB   140 Pa / 137 dB
Limit value 87 dB   200 Pa / 140 dB

 

Where noise exposure exceeds the lower exposure action value, the employer must

  • make individual hearing protectors available to workers
  • provide workers with information about the risks posed by the noise in the workplace
  • provide workers with instruction and training on the potential harmful effects of noise, the characteristics of the noise in the workplace and ways in which workers can reduce the risks, and
  • arrange for any workers whose health has been found to be adversely affected by noise exposure to have regular hearing tests.

Where noise exposure exceeds the upper exposure action value, the employer must

  • provide workers with individual hearing protectors
  • ensure that
    • workers wear their hearing protectors correctly
    • the fit of the hearing protectors takes into account each worker’s personal characteristics, and
    • the hearing protectors are fit for purpose and sufficiently effective
  • indicate the areas in the workplace where exposure to noise levels in excess of the upper action value is possible
  • cordon off the aforementioned areas and limit access to them where technically feasible and necessary due to the risk of exposure
  • establish and implement a plan to reduce noise levels and the duration of exposure (noise control programme), and
  • arrange for workers to have regular hearing tests.

Where noise exposure exceeds the limit value, the employer must

  • take immediate action to reduce the exposure to below the exposure limit value by
    • reducing workers’ exposure to noise or
    • reducing workers’ exposure to noise
  • identify the reasons why overexposure has occurred, and
  • amend the protection and prevention measures in order to avoid any recurrence.