What is Noise Monitoring Technology and Why is it Important?
Updated: Oct 7
Safety Managers: does your team really need a modern noise monitoring solution?
Over two million workers in the UK have NIHL, despite regulations to protect them from unsafe levels of noise in the workplace - why?
Noise monitoring is, of course, a requirement for teams operating in regulated landscapes. In the UK, the HSE sets forth the relevant regulations for you to consider with regards to occupational noise. There are also international standards set forth by the ISO that teams can adopt in order to help demonstrate regulatory compliance.
Generally, the aim of these regulations and standards is to ensure that workers are protected from exposure to unsafe levels of noise at work, which can lead to permanent and debilitating conditions, such as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.
Accomplishing this objective usually begins with a professional risk assessment (a workplace noise survey) carried out by a consultant who will visit your worksite for a matter of hours before providing you with information concerning the average levels of noise in your work environment, as well as estimates of the personal daily noise exposure of your team. They’ll use dosemeters, or sound level meters, to gather this information, and they typically won’t make a return visit to your worksite unless and until “circumstances in your workplace change and affect noise exposures,” which triggers a review of your current risk assessment, per the HSE.
Naturally, this means that teams are often working with data from assessments or surveys that are months or even years out of date. In a working environment as dynamic and agile as construction or manufacturing, for example, this approach simply doesn’t provide the information that you need to ensure the safest possible working conditions.
Still, teams have traditionally relied on professional risk assessments to help them manage their workplace noise environment. But the reality is that 2 million workers in the UK alone continue to be affected by NIHL, and 16% of disabling hearing loss worldwide is attributed to exposure to occupational noise.
And this is true despite the fact that many Safety Managers are also taking further steps to prevent NIHL at work and better protect the health and safety of their employees, including by providing PPE, participating in hearing conservation programmes, and by implementing training and hearing surveillance initiatives.
However, in light of the staggering statistics surrounding NIHL and occupational noise, it’s clear that the traditional approach to managing a dynamic workplace noise environment falls short of being truly effective.
So what should you do to ensure that your teams aren’t exposed to unsafe levels of noise in the workplace?
Smart Alert: leave uncertainty behind when it comes to workplace risk management
Adopting modern noise monitoring technology is the next step forward for teams who want to elevate their approach to workplace risk management with regards to noise, and better address the health and safety of their workers.
Smart Alert by Minuendo is a purpose-built solution for better sound monitoring in the workplace. Lightweight and easy to use, it was created to fully prevent exposure to unsafe levels of sound by alerting workers, in real-time, to unsafe conditions. With automatic notifications and actionable guidance on exposure, Smart Alert provides teams with drilled-down insights and critical context in an approachable interface that’s proven to drive better working habits.
Using cutting-edge, industry-defining technology, Smart Alert’s noise monitoring technology continuously monitors a workers’ exposure to noise from inside the ear. This means that the noise being monitored by Smart Alert is the most accurate and reliable available: the actual noise that someone is being exposed to, and not simply a measure of ambient or background noise.
With Smart Alert’s noise monitoring technology, you’ll no longer need to rely on data from outdated risk assessments that have minimal application in your dynamic workplace. With easy, at-will access to key information and insight, you’ll be able to paint a clear, 360-degree picture of your noise environment, complete with data about trends and patterns, worksite hotspots or bottlenecks, and worker habits. Armed with the details and context that you need to make truly reliable and accurate decisions, your teams will begin reaping the benefits of this prevention-focused approach to their health and safety almost immediately.
NIHL is a potentially devastating condition, and its prevalence throughout almost every industry is widespread. But unlike other occupational health conditions - NIHL is 100% preventable. With a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to risk management that goes beyond bare regulatory compliance, Safety Managers can help to easily, effectively drive better health and safety outcomes for workers through a modern, data-driven approach to risk management.
The best way to discover how Smart Alert’s noise monitoring technology can evolve your approach to noise monitoring and drive better outcomes for your workforce is to see it in action. To schedule your personal online demo, just choose a time slot that works for you on this calendar. And if you’d like to chat with us to learn more about Smart Alert’s noise monitoring technology before you book your demo, feel free to contact us using these details.