Noise Protection at Work



Aug. 10 2021

With a range of heavy equipment and machines across distribution centres, it can be increasingly difficult to meet acoustics and vibration obligations, including achieving compliance with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005.

However, failure to meet compliance can put your organisation at risk of prosecution, reputational damage and potential compensation claims. The Bureau Veritas dedicated Acoustics & Vibration Group is here to help.

Combining expert regulatory insight with vast experience in distributions centres, we help organisations to achieve compliance with legislation and best practice.

We work in partnership to assess which employees may be at risk of exposure above permitted levels and implement mitigation strategies to help improve safety. All as part of a full range of consultancy services that reduce risk and help build responsible, safe and sustainable businesses for our clients.

Identifying at-risk employees

Paul Johnson, senior consultant (acoustics and vibration) at Bureau Veritas, said: “Failure to comply with safety regulations such as The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 can lead to fines and reputational damage when breaches are published. With an increasing compensation culture, there is also a risk of further financial impact too if employees make a claim for noise-induced hearing loss.

“It has never been more important for distribution centre to understand, assess and control the risk of exposure to noise and vibration in the workplace. And that’s why more and more organisations are turning to the independent, third party expertise of the expert Bureau Veritas team.”

Full suite of services

Our services cover:

Noise at Work: Our team uses a sound level meter at specific workstations or working positions to take short term noise measurements and establish noise exposure from tools and machines (including conveyors).

We also use personal dosimetry to get a more accurate reading of the noise levels that an employee is exposed to over a longer period, as well as a general assessment of noise levels within a facility, which can be plotted on a map for visual clarity and better prioritisation of noise control.

By comparing this data to the limits set out in the regulations, we can establish if the worker(s) are at high risk and offer advice on reducing exposure.  Regular prosecutions by the HSE for inadequate noise risk assessments and compensation claims from employees for noise induced hearing loss.

Whole Body Vibration: Assessing the risk of exposure, including from driving forklift trucks over rough ground and for long periods. Whole Body Vibration is usually associated with sciatica problems and it is not unusual for assessments to show drivers exposed to dangerous levels.

Hand Arm Vibration: Measurements are taken from tool use by attaching a small monitor to the tool with minimal disruption to operations. Hand Arm Vibration is high priority for Health & Safety Executive prosecutions and compensation claims because it can lead to issues such as vibration white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Specialist support from Bureau Veritas

With an expert team of Acoustics & Vibration specialists, we work in partnership to assess noise and vibration exposures in line with regulations, implement strategies and improve employee health and safety – helping you to reduce the risk of prosecution, reputational damage and potential compensation claims.

Paul Johnson adds: “It’s imperative that employers are vigilant and stay on top of health and safety obligations, ensuring that an appropriate and adequate strategy is in place, which in-turn will protect employees and help achieve long-term compliance.

Want to know more?

Call Bureau Veritas on 0845 600 1828 or email to find out how we can support your organisation.