Control of Noise at Work Regulations
A New European Directive has been adopted to control levels of noise in the work place, these new regulations come into operation from April 2006.
(Noise) Directive (2003/10/EC) which tightens the legal requirements in relation to noise by lowering the exposure action values. The regulations come into force on 6 April 2006 for most industries, but the music and entertainment industry has until 6 April 2008.
What are the changes to the noise decibel levels?
Currently (under the Noise at Work Regulations 1989) the first action level (link to heading Action levels) is a daily personal noise exposure of 85 dB(A), the second action level is a daily personal noise exposure of 90 dB(A), and the peak action level is a peak sound pressure of 200 pascals.
When the Physical Agents (Noise) Directive is implemented with new regulations in early 2006, the first action level will be 80 dB(A) and a peak value of 112 pascals, the second action level will be 85 dB(A) and 140 pascals, and there will be a limit value of 87 dB(A) and 200 pascals. The limit value will take into account the reduction afforded by hearing protection.
The Noise at Work Regulations 1989 came into effect on 1 January 1990
Various other regulations apply to noise or include specific provisions on noise, including: the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999; the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998, the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 and the Agriculture (Tractor Cab) Regulations 1974.
A European Directive has been adopted which means that we must introduce new UK noise regulations by April 2006.
Directive 2003/10/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (noise), which will repeal Directive 86/188/EEC, was adopted on 9 December 2002 and came into force on 15 February 2003. The Directive tightens the legal requirements in relation to noise by lowering the exposure action values to 80 and 85 dB(A).
We now have until 6 April 2006 to transpose the Directive into UK Regulations.
For further in depth information log on to the HSE web site