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In today's modern environment we are subjected to noise from every direction. Noise is unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud or disruptive to hearing. The effects of noise on hearing vary among employees. Therefore, in any organisation, where the lower occupational noise limit of 80db (a) is breached or is suspected of being breached then a noise assessment survey must be conducted in compliance with the General Application Regulations 2007.
Employees who are regularly exposed to harmful noise because of their jobs include those who work with loud machines, vehicles, or power tools, such as construction workers, factory workers, farmers, truck drivers, miners, mechanics, or airport ground crew workers.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) advise that the effect of noise on hearing can be temporary or permanent. They go on to say that temporary deafness is often experienced after leaving a noisy place. In most cases, a person's hearing usually recovers within a few hours once they are no longer in the noisy environment. However, temporary deafness must never be ignored as it could be a sign that further and regular exposure to such noise could cause permanent damage.
Hearing loss is usually more gradual due to prolonged exposure to noise. It may only be when damage caused by noise over the years combines with normal hearing loss due to ageing that people realise how deaf they have become.
Exposure to noise may also cause tinnitus, which is the hearing of sound when no external sound is present in the ears. This can occur in combination with hearing loss. While there is no cure, most people with tinnitus get used to it over time; for a minority, it remains a significant problem.
Andrew Doyle Safety Consultants Limited (ADSC) has been conducting noise assessment surveys covering both workplace noise assessments and environmental noise surveys which include static and personal sampling for small, medium and large businesses and organisations for the past 10 years.
We would welcome the opportunity to submit a proposal for conducting a noise assessment survey for your organisation.
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