Scope

This policy applies to both noise and vibration exposure. The regulatory approach to each hazard is similar, making use of action levels and exposure limits to regulate the risks. This policy only applies where occupational exposure to noise and / or vibration is equal to or exceeds the statutory action levels or exposure limits. Although there is no legal obligation to provide the same duty of care for students, the University will endeavour wherever possible to treat students health in a similar way to that of employees.

Legislation

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

Management of Health & Safety Regulations 1999

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

Definition

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations set noise action values and exposure limit values (that trigger specific requirements) as follows:

  • Lower action value 80 dB(A) or more, daily or weekly average exposure / peak sound of 135 dB(C)

  • Upper action value 85 dB(A) or more, daily or weekly average exposure / peak sound of 137 dB(C)

  • Exposure limit value of 87 dB(A) or more, daily or weekly average exposure / peak sound of 140 dB(C)

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations set action values and exposure limit values (that trigger specific requirements) as follows:

  • Action value for hand arm vibration 2.5 m/s2 A(8), average exposure

  • Exposure limit for hand arm vibration 5 m/s2 A(8), average exposure

  • Action value for whole body vibration 0.5 m/s2 A(8), average exposure

  • Exposure limit for whole body vibration 1.15 m/s2 A(8), average exposure

The average exposures are expressed as a time weighted average (TWA) which takes into account both duration and level of exposure.

Policy Statement

Noise

The University will manage, so far as reasonably practicable, noise hazards falling under its control. The University will aim to achieve this policy by putting measures in place as to control noise exposure so far as is reasonably practicable

  • When selecting controls to manage exposure to noise risks, the University will apply the hierarchy of controls as set out in the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the NAWR. The University will, as far as reasonably practicable eliminate noise at source. Where elimination is not practical, the University will, as far as reasonably practicable, reduce noise exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

  • Where employees are likely to be exposed to the lower action value then the University will:

    • Make and keep up to date a suitable & sufficient noise risk assessment.
    • Make suitable hearing protection available upon request.
    • Provide exposed employees with suitable information, instruction & training.
  • Where employees are likely to be exposed to the upper action value then the University will:

    • Make suitable hearing protection available.
    • Designate areas where this is likely to happen as Hearing Protection Zones. Such zones will be clearly marked and the wearing of hearing protection will be mandatory.
  • Where employees are exposed to the exposure limit value then the University will stop the exposure until the cause can be identified and control measures implemented to reduce exposure to below the limit.

  • Where an assessment indicates that noise exposure is a risk to the health of employees then health surveillance shall be carried out in line with the Universities Health Surveillance Policy.

Vibration

The University will manage, so far as reasonably practicable, vibration hazards falling under its control. The University will aim to achieve this policy by putting measures in place as to control vibration exposure so far as is reasonably practicable - When selecting controls to manage exposure to vibration risks, the University will apply the hierarchy of controls as set out in the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the VAWR. The University will, as far as reasonably practicable eliminate vibration at source. Where elimination is not practical, the University will, as far as reasonably practicable, reduce vibration exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

  • Where employees are likely to be exposed to a risk from vibration, the University shall make and keep up to date a suitable & sufficient vibration risk assessment.

  • The University will provide employees with suitable information, instruction & training

  • Where an assessment indicates that vibration exposure is a risk to the health of employees then health surveillance shall be carried out in line with the Universities Health Surveillance Policy.

Responsibilities

The Vice-Chancellor (VC)

has the overall day to day responsibility for health and safety matters at the University. The VC delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles.

The following people are identified as having responsibilities (in addition to any other responsibilities under other health and safety policy) for the management of noise and the management of vibration at work.

Heads of Departments are responsible for ensuring that:

For noise exposures

  • A suitable & sufficient risk assessment is made where noise exposure is likely to be equal to or greater than the lower action value.

  • Suitable information, instruction & training is provided where noise exposure is likely to be equal to or greater than the lower action value.

  • Hearing Protection Zones are identified and marked where noise exposure is likely to be equal to or greater than the upper action limit.

  • Hearing protection is provided in line with this policy & that reasonable steps are taken to ensure it remains in good repair.

  • Reasonable action is taken to ensure hearing protection equipment remains in good repair.

  • Where noise exposure exceeds the exposure limit value, the activity is stopped until the cause can be identified & control measures implemented sufficient to reduce the exposure to below the limit.

For vibration exposures

  • A suitable & sufficient risk assessment is made vibration exposure is likely to be equal of greater than action limit.

  • Suitable controls are elected and implemented where employees are exposed to health risk due to vibration exposure.

  • Suitable & sufficient information, instruction & training is provided to employees exposed to health risk due to vibration exposure.

Employees are required to

  • Cooperate with the University to enable implementation of this policy

  • Wear hearing protection in Hearing Protection Zones in compliance with any information, instruction & training provided.

  • Take care of hearing protection issued to them in compliance with any information, instruction & training provided.

  • Report to their line manager or supervisor any concerns they have with control measures implemented to manage noise or vibration exposure.

Monitoring

University Health and Safety Committee will be responsible for:

  • Monitoring and reviewing this policy. Reviews will be carried out every three years from the date of approval.

Further Information and Resources

The Health & Safety Executive has published material on noise exposure on its web site at http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/index.htm The Health & Safety Executive has published material on vibration exposure on its web site at http://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/index.htm