Questions to help decide if a workplace may exceed noise action values
Is the noise intrusive for most of the working day? e.g. like a busy street.
Is it necessary to raise your voice to have a normal conversation when about 2 metres apart, for at least part of the working day?
Do employees use noisy power tools or machinery for more than half an hour each day?
Are there any noises due to impacts e.g. hammering or cartridge operated tools etc.
Noise is measured in decibels, dB, usually on an average basis dB(A). Each 3 dB(A) change in noise level is equivalent to doubling the sound level received by the ear. Typical examples of noise levels are:
- A quiet office – 40 to 50 dB(A)
- A lorry or tractor cab – 80 dB(A)
- A power drill – 85 dB(A)
- A road drill – 100 to 110 dB(A)