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INADEQUATE NOISE EMMISION DATA IS WIDESPREAD

Suppliers and manufacturers fail to provide required information

HSE has published the results of Research Project RR 962  Survey of noise emission and risk information supplied with a range of work machinery prepared by the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) for HSE.

The researchers assessed the suitability of the required information on noise emission provided by manufacturers and suppliers of a wide range of machine types for which noise declaration is required.

Previous work had showed that the noise emission data provided by the manufacturers was of “variable quality and be based on standards that no longer exist”.

Main findings of research

HSL assessed a sample of seventy-three sets of instructions across fourteen different machine types against the requirements. The majority of instructions (82% of the sample) contained inadequate noise emission information.

The report states that:

“It is therefore considered highly likely that purchasers and users of machinery will be unable to make informed choices regarding the safety of potential purchases or understand what control measures are necessary to mitigate the risks from noise during real use. “

The most common reasons instructions failed to comply were:

“absent or incomplete declared noise emission values, absent or incomplete traceability to operating conditions for declared noise emission values, and inadequate information on safe use, residual risk, or noise control measures.”

 Action recommended

The report states that manufacturers and suppliers should be influenced to supply the required noise emission information, either through guidance or enforcement activities.

Guidance is also needed on the responsibilities of manufacturers of partly completed machinery and bespoke machinery.

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