NOISE EXPOSURE & NOISE RISK ASSESSMENT (NRA)
Noise Exposure & Noise Risk Assessment (NRA)
Noise exposure refers to the level of sound energy to which a person is subjected over a specific period. It is usually measured in decibels (dB) and is commonly assessed using sound level meters. The duration and intensity of noise exposure are key factors in determining its potential effects on individuals.
A noise risk assessment is an assessment that should be conducted to identify any high level of noise at the workplace in order to prevent the effects of excessive noise exposure among workers. Occupational Safety and Health (Noise Exposure) Regulations 2019 is intended to ensure that employers identify excessive noise, protect employees and control excessive noise levels at the workplace.
Noise exposure limit?
The noise exposure limits that are being assessed in noise risk assessment are;
• Daily noise exposure level: 82dB(A)
• Maximum sound pressure level at any time: 115dB(A)
• Peak sound pressure level: 140dB(A)
Effect of excessive noise exposure?
High levels of noise exposure which exceed the noise exposure limit as above can cause:
• Harm or impair employees’ hearing
• Work stress
• Reduce productivity of workers
• Problem with communication and concentration
• Difficult to hear warning signals
• Workplace accidents and injuries
How to prevent the risk of hearing problems due to excessive noise exposure?
The risk of getting hearing problems among workers due to noise exposure can be prevented by:
• Reducing the duration of exposure to the noise by conducting job rotation
• Increasing the distance between the noise source and workers
• Organizing schedules to reduce workers present in the noisy area.
• Reducing the number of workers working in the area with excessive noise exposure
• Provide rest breaks away from the noisy work environment.
• Provide appropriate personal hearing protector
• Isolate workers from the noise source by engineering control measures
It is important to identify any sources of excessive noise exposure that have been exposed to workers to prevent the risk of hearing problems. Therefore, noise risk assessment is important to be conducted to ensure the workers are not exposed to a high level of noise while working.
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