Noise is subdivided into environmental noise (covering road, rail, air transport noise), neighbourhood noise (from people and activities e.g. pubs, clubs, barking dogs and music lessons) and neighbour noise. The Environmental Noise Directive (END) concerns noise from road, rail and air traffic and from industry. It focuses on the impact of such noise on individuals, complementing existing EU legislation which sets standards for noise emissions from specific sources. Environmental noise assessments are routinely carried out as part of planning applications and other activities that could generate invasive levels of noise.
Industrial noise or noise at work is usually considered mainly from the point of view of environmental health and safety, rather than nuisance, as sustained exposure can cause permanent hearing damage. Noise can not only cause hearing impairment (at long-term exposures of over 85 decibels (noise levels dB), known as an exposure action value), but it also acts as a causal factor for stress and raises systolic blood pressure. Additionally, it can be a causal factor in work accidents, both by masking hazards and warning signals, and by impeding concentration.
A noise dosimeter, used for monitoring noise exposure of an individual over the working day, can be used for mobile workforces where it is not always practical to measure with a hand held Sound Level Meter.
The use of hearing protection to limit exposure should only be considered where additional protection is needed once all practical measures to minimise levels of noise in the workplace are effective. It is preferable to develop a methodical approach to noise control and sound measurement – reducing noise at source, for example.The two main types of hearing protection are ear muffs and ear plugs. The need for personal protective equipment will be determined by sound testing, a noise test and a noise monitor.
Pulsar Instruments, for noise meters, sound level meters and noise monitoring equipment
Industrial Measurement Products and Solutions
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