Loud noise levels in the workplace lead to hearing loss, of varying severity, both temporary and permanent. Many people experience a short-period of deafness or ringing in the ears from working in a loud environment.
Did you know that your employer is legally required to measure noise levels in the workplace and implement noise control protocols so that you are not exposed to sounds that could damage your hearing?
Measuring noise levels in the workplace
Due to these stringent measures, accident at work compensation claims as the result of industrial deafness have been on the decrease over the last decade, according to statistics published by the Health and Safety Executive. These are the factors that enable employers to measure noise levels in the workplace.
Noise is measured in units known as decibels (dB.) For every three decibels, the loudness of the noise doubles. This means, for example, that a noise that is 85 dB is in fact twice as loud as a noise at 82 dB. 85 dB is considered the threshold for an acceptable level of noise in the workplace.
A plan must be made of the potential exposure to noise, including how close an employee must work in proximity to a certain noise or how long they will be exposed to it. It must also be factored in how this changes from day to day.
The most common piece of equipment used to measure noise levels in the workplace is the sound level meter (SLM). The SLM consists of a microphone, electronic circuits and a readout display that expresses the noise levels as number of decibels. The microphone detects small variations in the air pressure produced by sound and translates them into electrical signals. The signals are then processed by the circuitry of the machine and expressed on the readout.
A variation if the SLM is the ISLM which measures average noise level of a period of time.
Claiming compensation for industrial deafness
If you’ve suffered industrial deafness or hearing loss as a result of your work within the last three years, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline today for more information. Our lines are open 24 hours, seven days a week. A friendly, professional adviser is waiting to guide you through how to make a 100 per cent no-win no-fee* work accident compensation claim.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice