Noise increases the risk of accidents, contributes to stress, and may harm hearing.
Norsk versjon - Støy
Noisy work environments #
The magnitude of unwanted noise is measured in decibels (dB). The magnitude, duration, frequency and whether the noise is a bang are all deciding factors in the characterization of the noise as hazardous.
Use hearing protection if technical equipment or other noise sources cannot be blocked. Remember that noise increases the risk of accidents because it is distracting and because it becomes impossible to hear and understand signal. Noise also contributes to stress, increasing strain and the risk of making mistakes.
Make sure that you have the proper training and necessary information to work safely. If the unit's risk assessment concludes that precautions and Personal protective equipment are necessary, such equipment should be available and in good shape.
If you are exposed to hearing impairing noise, you should be offered a hearing examination. The offer is given based on a risk assessment. Occupational health services can help you with the assessment.
Hearing injuries #
You hearing may become damaged if you are exposed to:
- Unexpected noises
- Loud noises
- Loud and short noises such as explosions, bangs, shots, nail guns, etc.
- The risk of hearing injuries increases if you work in a noisy environment at the same time as chemical such as toluene, styrene and carbon disulfide.
Hearing loss caused by loud noises is permnent. Hearing loss from loud noises in the workplace is the most common work-related injury in Europe. Noise can also be bothersome without causing permanent damage. Read more about Noise on the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority's (Norwegian only).
Occupational exposure limits #
Daily noise exposure level should not exceed LEX, 8h = 80 dB. Top level should not exceed LpC, peak = 130 dB. If you are exposed to noise that exceeds these limits, you should undergo a medical examination.
Questions to ask during HSE processes #
- Are any noises present that are uncomfortable or hinder regular conversations between employees?
- What are the unit's routines for use of personal protective equipment?
- What are the unit's routines for offering hearing tests if injuries are suspected?
- Laboratories, safety and the work environment (in Norwegian) - the Norwegian Labour Inspection Agency
- Noise (in Norwegian), fact page from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Agency
NTNU regulations #
Legislation (in Norwegian) #
- The Work Environment Act § 4-4
- Regulation on organization and management - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Chapter 7 Risk Assessment
- Chapter 15 Personal protection equipment
- The workplace regulation - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Regulation on execution of work - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Chapter 7 Work that can cause reproductive damage
- Chapters 10-13 Work Equipment
- Chapter 14 Work that causes exposure to loud noises or mechanical vibrations
- Chapter 22 Safety signs and signals
- Regulation on limits - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
- Chapter 2 Noise
- Regulation on administrative organization - The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority
Contact information #
- Occupational Health Services
- Margunn Losnegaard Karlsen, occupational health nurse
- Ann Kristin Sjaastad, occupational hygienist
- Bjørg Aadahl, occupational physician
Approved by Director of HSE - April 9th 2013 - HMSR59E