Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Baker v Quantum Clothing - Hearing Damage in Industry

This appeal concerned the liability of the appellant employers in the knitting industry of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire for hearing loss suffered by employees prior to 1 January 1990. The central issue was whether liability existed at common law in negligence and/or under the Factories Act 1961, s 29(1) towards an employee who suffered noise-induced hearing loss due to exposure to noise levels between 85 and 90dB(A)lepd.

The Supreme Court allowed the appeal by a majority of 3:2 and restores the judge’s decision at first instance. The court found that the 1972 Code of Practice published by the Department of Employment, which recommended a noise exposure limit of 90dB(A)lepd, constituted an acceptable standard for average employers to adhere to during the 1970s and 1980s. The Court also endorsed a further two year period beyond 1988 allowed by the judge for implementing protective measures, thus meaning that the average employer had no common law liability before 1 January 1990. Additionally, the Factories Act 1961, s 29 did not impose a more stringent liability than at common law. The employers by complying with the Code of Practice were not in breach of the statutory duty before like dates as those from which they were potentially liable at common law. [article]

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Barking about Noise Control

South West Acoustic Consultants Soundguard Acoustics were involved with the introduction of an innovative Parasol Kennel design at a new Animal Rescue Centre in Devon. As the site was in the planning stages then noise measurement at a similar location in Plymouth, Devon was used to collate data that could be used in the planning report. The design of Parasol kennels helps to reduce the barking noise of dogs by restricting their field of view, by introducing sound absorbing material into the design and avoiding long lines of barking dogs as typical of a linear barrack style kennel. Planning & noise experts Soundguard Acoustics continues to work with the developer, planners and the kennel designer to determine the best noise control solutions for the project.

A ray of Sunlight in Noise Risk Assessment

Soundguard Acoustics Consultants, Devon were asked to repeat Workplace Noise Risk Assesssments for both the Honiton, Devon and the Newton Abbot, Devon sites of Sunlight Ltd. Sunlight are industrial laundry services for the hotel and healthcare markets and requested that our Acoustic Consultants return to repeat, review and evaluate their Control of Noise at Work Risk assessments (CONAWR).