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New Noise at Work Regulations, Will You be Ready?
The current Noise at Work Regulations are due to be replaced in February 2006. "A long way off," some may say, but will you be ready, or are you currently performing noise surveys which will become redundant in just over 2 years? The following article describes the history so far and the changes to expect.
In 1993 a proposal sought to establish a new framework for the regulation of physical agents at work applying initially to noise, vibration, optical radiation and non-optical electromagnetic fields.
In 1999 the German Presidency put forward a revised proposal limiting the scope of the Directive to vibration (hand-arm and whole body) with the intention of developing further Directives on the other physical agents sequentially rather than in a single Directive.
The UK supported this decision to deal
with the physical agents sequentially rather than as a single Directive.
Following on from the political agreement on the Vibration Directive in November 2000, the Swedish Presidency introduced a proposal for a Noise Directive in January 2001. This would repeal the existing 1986 Noise Directive (86/188/EEC), implemented in the UK by the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.
The main changes in the Swedish proposal to the 1986 Directive were:
Proposal Changed to Meet the Needs of the UK
However following negotiations the UK negotiators achieved considerable success in reducing the burdens on industry implicit in the draft without detracting from the benefits to workers' health.
The table on the following page, shows the main differences between the final proposal and the 1986 Directive:
Scienco are currently performing workplace noise survey to both standards, ensuring there will be no need to repeat the exercise once the new directive is adopted.
If you would like further information on this subject or assistance, follow the contact link below or call us on our local rate number 0845 6039053.