RR604 - Noise emission data for hand-held concrete breakers

A programme of experimental work was carried out for a sample of six new concrete breakers:

To assess the test method defined in the Noise Emission in the Environment by Equipment for use Outdoors Regulations 2001 (NEEEOR 2001) for usability and repeatability;

To compare measured noise emission values with manufacturers' declared noise emission values, and with the noise generated by the same tools during simulated real-use tests;

To establish whether declared noise emission data can be used as an indicator of noise hazard.

The declared noise emission values could not be verified in the majority of cases. This may be due in part to differing interpretation of the defined test method. Omissions and technical difficulties in the defined test method are identified. Despite differences in test-generated data for some of the breakers, in real use there were no significant differences between the noise emission of the breakers.

The real use noise emission values were generally higher than the noise emission values from the defined test method. This is probably because the defined test method looks only at noise emitted by the breaker itself, and not noise generated by the machine/inserted tool/work surface interaction.

In general therefore, using manufacturers' declared noise emissions as the basis of selecting/purchasing a concrete breaker will not reliably result in the selection of a tool that is low- or lower-noise in conditions of real use.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-22