These pages provide dates and, where available, feedback about past news and events in relation to noise at work. See also Press releases.
Need help with HPE compliance in the workplace? - Confused by legislation? - Want to understand Real World Attenuation?
Then why not join Tim Ward, Health and safety Executive, Professor Peter Wheeler, Institute of Acoustics and 3M at their second joint Hearing Seminar.
The day will include presentations by the HSE, Professor Wheeler and 3M on industry knowledge, compliance levels within the workplace and offer an open forum discussion so you can get first hand advice from the Industry experts and share best practice with others.
The seminar has been designed to provide helpful insights, knowledge and to provide support on how to select hearing protection and then implementing them within your work place!
- Mohammed Saleem, 3M,
Introduction to Directive and Standards
- Professor Peter Wheeler, Former President, Institute of Acoustics
Hearing Protector Selection and Real World Attenuation
- Tim Ward, Principal Specialist Inspector, Health and Safety Executive
Prevent Hearing damage at work: Where we are, and what's needed next
- Sarah Broadbent, 3M
Raising awareness and assisting with compliance
Also included will be hands on demonstrations of a number of products including the 3M EARfit Validation System and 3M Sound Level Meters
26 - 30 April 2010 - Noise Action Week
Noise Action Week is an annual initiative coordinated by Environmental Protection UK, which aims to raise awareness of the problems caused by neighbour noise and the solutions available to tackle it. Noise Action Week 2010 will take place on 26 - 30 April. This year's event will coincide with International Noise Awareness day (29 April), so there has never been a better time to act on noise.
2 March 2010 - Low noise and vibration equipment for European markets - are you set to lose market share?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is hosting a free event for UK industry to consider the opportunities provided by developing low noise and vibration equipment.
Who is the event for?
If your company supplies noisy or vibrating equipment then this event is for you. It will also be useful for makers of sub assemblies plus those who provide advice and guidance on design for low noise and vibration. Groups representing manufacturers, suppliers and users are also most welcome.
- Create a market edge for sellers of quiet machinery.
- Make it easier for employers to identify and manage risks associated with exposure to excessive noise and vibration in the workplace by increasing the availability of quiet, low vibration machinery.
- Encourage provision of suppliers' information on noise and vibration emission in a form that is meaningful to purchasers.
- Delegates understand legal duties
- Stimulate debate on how best to fulfil legal duties
- Clarify expectations of HSE in supporting supply and purchase of low noise and vibration equipment
- Help designers and manufacturers realise a market advantage from development of low noise and vibration machinery.
Follow-up by HSE
- Summarise event findings to HSE website
- Publicise good practice
Please contact Buy Quiet at [email protected] for further details and to reserve your place.
Summary on Health Surveillance for Noise and Hand Arm Vibration
Bristol City Football Club - 17th November 2009
The purpose of this event was to improve duty-holders understanding on what aspects had to be considered when determining what is required from health surveillance for noise and hand arm vibration and how to select an appropriate qualified company or individual to undertake this activity. The findings presented here are a summary of the thoughts of the 49 duty-holders present at this event based on current practice within their respective companies, the existing legislation and following on from the series of talks delivered in the morning on the subject. The document can act as an aide memoire to any company needing to consider health surveillance for noise or hand arm vibration or are considering re-evaluating their health surveillance needs on this subject.
How does an employer decide on competency?
Obtain references from previous and existing clients of the occupational health service provider (OHSP) tendering for the business.
Request documentary evidence of competency eg for nurses ask if they hold a diploma in occupational health and ask to see their certificate and whether they hold a current Nursing and Midwifery council registration. While for doctors a qualification in occupational medicine such as the diploma in occupational medicine issued by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM)
For hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is there evidence that either the nurse or the doctor holds a qualification for HAVS issued by the FOM or alternatively can demonstrate via experience knowledge on the subject?
When considering competency to undertake health surveillance for noise, then identify whether they hold a certificate in Industrial Audiometry which complies with the British society of audiology syllabus or hold professional medical qualifications in audiology.
Obtain evidence that they regularly calibrate for example their audiometry equipment and have access to sound proof booths.
Where the OHSP is nurse or technician (for audiometry) lead then there is a need to ensure that they have access to a competent occupational health physician to ensure diagnosis.
The service level agreement needs to establish what information is to be provided to the OHSP by the employer ie risk assessment and what the OHSP is expected to deliver and within agreed timetables.
The above can be summarised by the acronym SKATE which is:
Ensure that the feedback you receive from your occupational health service provider is presented in a format you understand and clearly indicates what actions need to be taken. When setting the service level agreement up this can be resolved by asking to see example reports.
If you don't understand something ask for clarification.
Establish regular meetings with relevant managers (not just the HR department) and your OHSP. The importance of this is that providing this facility ensures the OHSP is aware of any changes in your workplace with regard processes or equipment and can revise any feedback they need to make on an individual or in anonymised reports.
Feedback from your OHSP needs to be fed back to all relevant levels of the management chain and that actions are followed up promptly by the management chain.
When implementing your health surveillance policy ensure that it is clear where individual responsibilities lie and that there is sign off by appropriate managers at all stages in the process.
Where feedback from the OHSP makes recommendations for control measures then you need to ensure that you collate feedback from employees and line managers on the effectiveness of these control changes for example maintenance issues.
When the OHSP is providing feedback for it to be effective it needs to understand your workplace, your needs and be familiar with the processes and equipment you use.
Management of affected workers
Establish clear policies on what employees are responsible for when having to undertake health surveillance at the request of an employer.
Understand that even if an employee asks to be exempt from this requirement that an employer cannot relinquish this duty.
Every employee who presents with the effects of vibration needs to be managed as an individual and if their employment within the existing activity is not possible every effort should be explored to ensure alternative employment within the company.
Employee educational strategies need to be developed so that the employee is aware of the purpose of health surveillance and:
- That it is not to get rid of individuals who are at risk
- Explain for example HAVS if left undiagnosed could result in them being seriously disabled and affect their earning ability.
New employees and affected employees need to appreciate honesty is required especially regarding disclosure on non-work related activities where there is a risk of significant noise and vibration exposure. This disclosure needs to be treated sympathetically as these individuals may need further advice to explain the additional risks they are placing on themselves.
23 June 2009 - Did you hear that?
Held at the Royal Society, London is a one day meeting, with papers from Industry, Local Government, Consultants and Research Establishments. Besides Continuing Personal or Professional Development (CPD) hours, the seminar offers the chance to meet with other professionals involved in this fast evolving area of measurement technology.
The day will have a balanced approach with both sides of the measurement arguments being taken, covering topics from noise nuisance, measurement techniques/methodology, the practical implications and implementation of the understanding and measuring (or not) of audibility.
Registration: please telephone (+44)(0) 1727 848195 or e-mail [email protected]
18-22 May 2009 - Noise Action Week
Organised by Environmental Protection UK, Noise Action Week gives everyone involved in managing noise problems the opportunity to focus public and media attention on the difficulties that excessive noise can cause. The initiative helps to promote practical solutions to everyday noise problems.
HSE in partnership with Lanarkshire Council is running the following free events, to raise awareness of hearing loss caused by iPod risks. HSE has loaned a noise induced hearing simulator to:
- raise awareness amongst the public (many of whom are, or will be workers)
- help highlight the risks of hearing loss to young people, and
- support Local Authority colleagues
- Noise Action Week web page
Health Surveillance for Noise and Vibration
Birmingham City Football Club, 19 November 2008
Some 60 participants attended this free event for employers on the benefits of health surveillance in dealing with the health effects of noise and hand-arm vibration (HAV). It was so well received that a further workshop was arranged on 19 January and over 60 people attended that too. The events highlighted the legal requirements and explored what an employer should be looking for from their health surveillance provider. We intend to put a summary of the findings from the workshops, which discussed experiences of best practice, problems, issues and possible solutions, on the web in the future.
Sound Advice web guide and book launched
The Sound Advice web guide, Control on noise at work in the music and entertainment and book, Sound Advice HSG 260, were launched on 11 July 2008. They provide practical advice on controlling noise at work in the music and entertainment sectors and identify good practice to help avoid the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to noise. The guidance has been developed and supported by representatives from a wide range of music and entertainment sectors in Britain, including Environmental Health Officers and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
16 April 2008 'Playing Safe', Barbican, London
A one-day meeting organised by the Institute of Acoustics Measurement and Instrument Group with support from HSE. 110 delegates attended this meeting about the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 as they affect the music and entertainment sectors. A number of speakers have agreed to their presentations being available to view.
January / February
31 January and 1 February 2007 - Executive Hire Show at Ricoh Arena, Coventry
HSE, Executive Hire News and Hire Association Europe ran a series of health and safety seminars for the hire industry at the Executive Hire Show at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 31 January and 1 February 2007. The seminars covered a number of hazards, including noise, and there were some 250 attendances over two days.
- Presentations by HSE specialists.
16 and 17 January 2007 'Music - Safe and Sound' in Dortmund, Germany
A European forum on hearing conservation for professionals in music and entertainment organised by BAuA, the Federal institute for occupational health and safety. There were four British speakers at this platform for sharing views and discussing problems and solutions concerning noise in the music and entertainment sectors.
- Presentations available to download from the BAuA website.
10 July 2006 Noise and Vibration Programme Launch Event
An event aimed at construction, heavy fabrication, shipbuilding and foundry industries to discuss high vibration processes, controlling hand-arm vibration and other related projects, including noise and worker involvement.
In 2006/07, HSE's Noise and Vibration Programme focused on hand-arm vibration (HAV) at work. HSE targeted its efforts on activities known to cause high exposures to HAV, in the construction, heavy fabrication, shipbuilding and foundry industries. The already identified high vibration processes for which there are reasonably practicable alternatives were placed on HSE's Vibration website. The event gave attendees the opportunity to collaborate over the next generation of controls.
Noise and vibration roadshow 2006 - Managing the risks
Four more roadshows were held during June 2006 for those who missed the ones held in 2005.
22-24 May 2006 - Noise Action Week
Organised by the NSCA, this annual initiative helps promote practical solutions to everyday noise problems.
6 April - The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force.
If you are an employer or adviser see the Noise website employer pages and if you are an employee see the 'Worried about your hearing? ' pages.