The limits for risk factors present in the working environment and the procedure for measuring the parameters of risk factors

 

Regulation of the Government of the Republic of 25 January 2002

 

This Regulation is established on the basis of subsection 3 (4) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 

 

Chapter 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

§ 1. Scope of Application

(1) This Regulation establishes the limits for noise, vibration, and electromagnetic fields in the working environment and the procedure for measuring of their parameters.

(2) This Regulation shall be applied at all workplaces as defined in subsection 4 (1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

Chapter 2
AUDIBLE SOUND, INFRASOUND, AND ULTRASOUND

 

§ 2. Definitions

The content of definitions used in this Regulation is explained as follows:
1) sound – pressure (deformation) waves in an environment;
2) noise – sound that disturbs workers or is detrimental to their health;
3) audible sound – sound within frequency range from 20 Hz  to 20 kHz;
4) infrasound – sound with frequency under 20 Hz;
5) ultrasound – sound with frequency over 20 kHz;
6) sound pressure – additional pressure of sound in a gas or liquid, unit: pascal (Pa);
7) sound pressure at the threshold of audibility p0 – the minimum sound pressure detectable by human ear, p0 = 20 µPa;
8) sound pressure level (noise level) – relative sound pressure, measured in decibels (dB) per sound pressure at the threshold of audibility;
9) equivalent noise level – energetic equivalent of a sound present during a period of time (sound exposure), unit: dB (A);
10) noise exposure level – equivalent noise level exerting influence on workers during the working hours.

 

LEP,d = LA,T0 +10log (Te / T0 ), where :

LA,T0 = 10log{1/Te  asd    [PA(t)/P0]2 dt},

 

Te – time daily spent by worker in noise field,

T0 – 8 hours (duration of working day),

P0 – 20 µPa (sound pressure at threshold of audibility),

PA(t) – A-corrected momentary value of sound pressure in PA;

 

11) maximum level of sound pressure – A-corrected maximum level of sound pressure in relation to sound pressure at the threshold of audibility, unit: dB(A);
12) impulsive sound – sound with duration less than 1 second, in accordance with the definition of standard ISO 1996-1:1982.

 

§ 3. Noise limits in working environment

(1) The sound exposure level exerting influence on the worker in case of 8-hour working day must not exceed 85 dB(A). When determining this level, use of hearing protection means shall not be taken into account. Table 1 establishes the maximum permissible time of noise exposure in case of different noise levels:

 

Table 1

 

Noise level dB(A)

Maximum permissible time of noise exposure, in hours

85

8

88

4

91

2

94

1

97

0.5

100

0.25

 

(2) Maximum noise pressure level must not exceed 115 dB(A), when measured with time characteristic «F», except in case of impulsive sound.

(3) Peak level of sound pressure (in case of impulsive sound as well) must not exceed 140 dB(C).

(4) Infrasound limits are provided in table 2:

 

Table 2

 

1/3 octave band

medium frequency

Hz

2

2.5

3.15

4

5

6.3

8

10

12.5

16

20

Sound pressure level

dB

130

126

122

118

114

110

106

102

98

94

90

 

(5) Ultrasound limit in the frequency range 20–25 kHz shall be 105 dB; in case of frequencies over 25 kHz, the said limit shall be 115 dB.

 

§ 4. Measurement of noise

(1) The following equipment shall be used for measurement of noise:
1) sound pressure shall be measured with equipment complying with IEC standard 651:1979. According to the standard, the equipment is divided into classes 0, 1, 2, and 3, whereby class 0 includes verification instruments, class 1 and 2 equipment is used for measurement, and class 3 devices are considered indicators;
2) equivalent noise level shall be measured with equipment complying with IEC standard 804:1985.

(2) Noise shall be measured in accordance with the standard ISO 1999:1990.

(3) Noise measurement shall be repeated if modifications made at the workplace may raise the noise level.

(4) Measurement results shall be recorded and preserved by the employer and the performer of the measurements in accordance with the established order.

(5) The results of noise measurement shall be made public to the workers and their representatives.

 

§ 5. Activity of employer

Employer shall:
1) identify significant noise sources/noise fields and determine the noise level;
2) arrange measurement of noise level in accordance with Section 19, if the noise level determined with the help of an indicator device exceeds the limits indicated in Section 3, or if performance of the measurement is demanded by labour inspector;
3)
in order to prevent the detrimental effect of noise, apply technical measures for reduction of the noise level of work facilities, workplaces, or instruments;
4) take measures in order to prevent background noise from disturbing the performance of work assignments (e.g. assignments requiring concentration or communication) or giving of verbal signals;
5) identify with proper warning signs all noise sources/noise fields involving noise level equal to or above 85 dB(A);
6) if the noise level is equal to or exceeds 85 dB(A), install at the entry into the work zone or next to the device generating the noise the obligatory sign “Wear Hearing Protection Means”;
7) request from the manufacturers of noise-generating devices information on the possibilities for noise level reduction;
8) evaluate and verify the efficiency of measures applied at the workplace for the purpose of noise reduction;
9) inform the workers about the detrimental effect of noise;
10) allow the workers to use hearing protection means if the noise exposure level exceeds 80 dB(A), and demand use of hearing protection means from the workers if the sound exposure level is equal to or exceeds 85 dB(A).

 

 

Unfortunately  § 6 - § 18 of the regulation are not translated yet.

 

Chapter 5
MEASUREMENT PROCEDURE

 

§ 19. Procedure for measurement of the parameters of physical risk factors

Parameters of the physical risk factors mentioned in this Regulation can be measured by laboratories that have been issued a professional competence certificate or accreditation certificate by the Estonian Accreditation Centre or some other competent accreditation agency on the basis of subsection 134 (2) of the Metrology Act.

 

Chapter 6
IMPLEMENTING PROVISION

 

§ 20. Entry into force of Regulation

This Regulation enters into force on 1 July 2002.

 

 

 

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