Noise & Vibration Control Consultants

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At what level does sound become unsafe?

You should use hearing protection when exposed to levels above 80dB(A), especially if prolonged exposure is expected, or if you are exposed to very loud noises such as impacts, that exceed 135dB Lcpeak. Damage to hearing from loud noise is cumulative and is irreversible. Exposure to high noise levels is also one of the main causes of tinnitus.


In Great Britain, the provisions of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force February 2006, and these regulations place a duty on employers to carry out a risk assessment carried out if they are aware that any of their employees may be exposed to the Lower Exposure Action Value or above (the equivalent of 80 dB(A) for 8 hours or 135dB Lcpeak). The Health & Safety Executive guidance states that the risk assessment must be drawn up by “someone who is competent to carry out the task” and be “based on advice and information from competent sources”. 10dB Acoustics can provide this service at a competitive cost, and will ensure that you are able to comply with all aspects of the Regulations.


Be aware that the consequences of not complying with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations can be extremely serious. Not only could you be faced with enforcement action by the Health & Safety Executive or the Local Authority, you may face claims for personal injury damages from affected employees. Damages can run into many thousands of pounds. If you have any doubts whatsoever about your compliance with the Regulations, contact us. We are able to carry out a brief assessment at very modest cost which will indicate if you need a full assessment or not. Better safe than sorry!