Best Practice

LOCATION: Company-wide ARTICLE YEAR 2008
ACTIVITY: Occupational Health COMPANY: CEMEX
SUB ACTIVITY: Noise COMPANY LOCATION: CEMEX UK Construction services, South Yorkshire
BEST PRACTICE No: BP558 COMPANY TEL: 0114 2418282
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
TITLE
Noise monitoring – ear protection
ARTICLE
To comply with The Control of Noise Regulations 2005, CEMEX wanted to identify sources of noise in the workplace so it could ensure that workers’ hearing was protected. Only certain areas of the company posed a health risk, but many activities conducted at CEMEX were above the legal limits, with operatives often having to shout to each other to communicate.

The monitoring process was designed to establish what hearing protection was most suitable for the noise levels that existed. Avoiding damage to hearing is important however it is vital that any hearing aids do not completely block out all sound as verbal communication and sounds such as vehicle reversing alarms need to be heard.

To overcome these issues, CEMEX had silicone hearing protection devices produced that were made from a soft acrylic material. The devices were designed for each individual to fit their ear for maximum effectiveness. As these were tailor-made and needed some time to complete, helmet mounted ear
defenders were used in the interim.

These had a sound amplification unit built in that enabled the employee to hear speech but eliminated unwanted noise and had an on/off switch that allowed the amplification system to be controlled by the user. This worked well while the other hearing protection aids became available.
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