© European Communities, 1986
No. L 137 / 28 - 34
Official Journal of the European Communities
24. 5. 86
(Acts whose publication is not obligatory)
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, and in particular Article 100 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission, drawn up after consulting the Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work (1);
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (2),
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (3),
Whereas the Council resolutions of 29 June 1978 and 27 February 1984 on action programmes of the European Communities on safety and health at work (4) provide for the implementation of specific harmonized procedures for the protection of workers exposed to noise; whereas the measures adopted in this field vary from State to State and it is recognized that they urgently need to be approximated and improved;
Whereas exposure to high noise levels is encountered in a large number of situations and therefore many workers are exposed to a potential safety and health hazard;
Whereas a reduction of exposure to noise reduces the risk of hearing impairment caused by noise;
Whereas, where the noise level at the workplace involves a risk for the health and safety of workers, limiting exposure to noise reduces that risk without prejudice to the applicable provisions on the limitation of noise emission;
Whereas the most effective way of reducing noise levels at work is to incorporate noise prevention measures into the design of installations and to choose materials, procedures and working methods which produce less noise; whereas the priority aim must be to achieve the said reduction at source;
Whereas the provision and use of personal ear protectors is a necessary complementary measure to the reduction of noise at source, where exposure cannot reasonably be avoided by other means;
Whereas noise is an agent to which Council Directive 80/1107/EEC of 27 November 1980 on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents at work (5) applies; whereas Articles 3 and 4 of the said Directive provide for the possibility of laying down limit values and other special measures in respect of the agents being considered;
Whereas certain technical aspects must be defined and may be reviewed in the light of experience and progress made in the technical and scientific field;
Whereas the current situation in the Member States does not make it possible to fix a noise-exposure value below which there is no longer any risk to workers' hearing;
Whereas current scientific knowledge about the effects that exposure to noise may have on health, other than on hearing, does not enable precise safety levels to be set; whereas, however, reduction of noise will lower the risk of illnesses unrelated to auditory complaints; whereas this Directive contains provisions which will be reviewed in the light of experience and developments in scientific and technical knowledge in this field,
HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
1. This Directive, which is the third individual Directive within the meaning of Directive 80/1107/EEC, has as its aim the protection of workers against risks to their hearing and, in so far as this Directive expressly so provides, to their health and safety, including the prevention of such risks arising or likely to arise from exposure to noise at work.
2. This Directive shall apply to all workers, including those exposed to radiation covered by the scope of the EAEC Treaty, with the exception of workers engaged in sea transport and in air transport.
For the purpose of this Directive, the expression 'workers engaged in sea transport and in air transport' shall refer to personnel on board.
On a proposal from the Commission the Council shall examine, before 1 January 1990, the possibility of applying this Directive to workers engaged in sea transport and in air transport.
3. This Directive shall not prejudice the right of Member States to apply or introduce, subject to compliance with the Treaty, laws, regulations or administrative provisions ensuring, where possible, greater protection for workers and/or intended to reduce the level of noise experienced at work by taking action at source, particularly in order to achieve exposure values which prevent unnecessary nuisance.
For the purposes of this Directive, the following terms shall have the meaning hereby assigned to them:
1. Daily personal noise exposure of a worker LEP,d
The daily personal noise exposure of a worker is expressed in dB(A) using the formula:
The daily personal noise exposure does not take account of the effect of any personal ear protector used.
2. Weekly average of the daily values LEP,w
The weekly average of the daily values is found using the following formula:
where (LEP,d)k are the values of LEP,d for each of the m working days in the week being considered.
1. Noise experienced at work shall be assessed and, when necessary, measured in order to identify the workers and workplaces referred to in this Directive and to determine the conditions under which the specific provisions of this Directive shall apply.
2. The assessment and measurement mentioned in paragraph 1 shall be competently planned and carried out at suitable intervals under the responsibility of the employers.
Any sampling must be representative of the daily personal exposure of a worker to noise.
The methods and apparatus used must be adapted to the prevailing conditions in the light, particularly, of the characteristics of the noise to be measured, the length of exposure, ambient factors and the characteristics of the measuring apparatus.
These methods and this apparatus shall make it possible to determine the parameters defined in Article 2 and to decide whether, in a given case, the values fixed in this Directive have been exceeded. 3. Member States may lay down that personal exposure to noise shall be replaced by noise recorded at the workplace. In that event the criterion of personal exposure to noise shall be replaced, for the purposes of Articles 4 to 10, by that of noise exposure during the daily work period, such period being at least eight hours, at the places where the workers are situated.
Member States may also lay down that, when the noise is measured, special consideration shall be given to impulse noise.
4. The workers and/or their representatives in the undertaking or establishment shall be associated, according to national law and practice, with the assessment and measurement provided for in paragraph 1. These shall be revised where there is reason to believe that they are incorrect or that a material change has taken place in the work.
5. The recording and preservation of the data obtained pursuant to this Article shall be carried out in a suitable form, in accordance with national law and practice.
The doctor and/or the authority responsible and the workers and/or their representatives in the undertaking shall have access to these data, in accordance with national law and practice.
1. Where the daily personal exposure of a worker to noise is likely to exceed 85 dB(A) or the maximum value of the unweighted instantaneous sound pressure is likely to be greater than 200 Pa (6), appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure that:
2. At workplaces where the daily personal noise exposure of a worker is likely to exceed 85 dB(A), appropriate information must be provided to workers as to where and when Article 6 applies.
At workplaces where the daily personal noise exposure of a worker is likely to exceed 90 dB(A) or where the maximum value of the unweighted instantaneous sound pressure is likely to exceed 200 Pa, the information provided for in the first subparagraph must, where reasonably practicable, take the form of appropriate signs. The areas in question must also be delimited and access to them must be restricted, where the risk of exposure so justifies and where these measures are reasonably practicable.
1. The risks resulting from exposure to noise must be reduced to the lowest level reasonably practicable, taking account of technical progress and the availability of measures to control the noise, in particular at source.
2. Where the daily personal noise exposure of a worker exceeds 90 dB(A), or the maximum value of the unweighted instantaneous sound pressure is greater than 200 Pa:
1. Without prejudice to Article 5, where the daily personal noise exposure of a worker exceeds 90 dB(A) or the maximum value of the unweighted instantaneous sound pressure is greater than 200 Pa, personal ear protectors must be used.
2. Where the exposure referred to in paragraph 1 is likely to exceed 85 dB(A), personal ear protectors must be made available to workers.
3. Personal ear protectors must be supplied in sufficient numbers by the employer, the models being chosen in association, according to national law and practice, with the workers concerned.
The ear protectors must be adapted to the individual worker and to his working conditions, taking account of his safety and health. They are deemed, for the purposes of this Directive, suitable and adequate if, when properly worn, the risk to hearing can reasonably be expected to be kept below the risk arising from the exposure referred to in paragraph 1.
4. Where application of this Article involves a risk of accident, such risk must be reduced as far as is reasonably practicable by means of appropriate measures.
1. Where it is not reasonably practicable to reduce the daily personal noise exposure of a worker to below 85 dB(A), the worker exposed shall be able to have his hearing checked by a doctor or on the responsibility of the doctor and, if judged necessary by the doctor, by a specialist.
The in which this check is carried out shall be established by the Member States in accordance with national law and practice.
2. The purpose of the check shall be the diagnosis of any hearing impairment by noise and the preservation of hearing.
3. The results of checks on workers' hearing shall be kept in accordance with national law and practice.
Workers shall have access to the results which apply to them in so far as national law and practice allow.
4. Member States shall take the necessary measures with a view to the doctor and/or the authority responsible giving, as part of the check, appropriate indications on any individual protective or preventive measures to be taken.
1. Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that:
2. The Council shall establish, on a proposal from the Commission, requirements according to which, so far as is reasonably practicable, the articles referred to in paragraph 1 (b), when properly used, do not produce noise likely to constitute a risk to hearing.
1. In the case of workplaces where the noise exposure of a worker varies markedly from one working day to the next, Member States may, for workers performing special operations, exceptionally grant derogations from Article 5 (2), Article 6 (1) and Article 7 (1), but only on condition that the average weekly noise exposure of a worker, as shown by adequate monitoring, complies with the value laid down in these provisions.
The Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, shall re-examine this Directive before 1 January 1994, taking into account in particular progress made in scientific knowledge and technology as well as experience gained in the application of this Directive, with a view to reducing the risks arising from exposure to noise.
In the context of this re-examination, the Council, acting on a proposal from the Commission, shall endeavour to lay down indications for measuring noise which are more precise than those given in Annex I.
Member States shall see to it that workers' and employers' organizations are consulted before the provisions for the implementation of the measures referred to in this Directive are adopted, and that where workers' representatives exist in the undertaking or establishments they can check that such provisions are applied or can be involved in their application.
1. For the measurement of noise and checking workers' hearing, any methods may be used which at least satisfy the provisions contained in Articles 3 and 7.
2. Indications for measuring noise and for checking workers' hearing are given in Annexes I and II.
Annexes I and II shall be adapted to technical progress in accordance with Directive 80/1107/EEC and under the procedure set out in Article 10 thereof.
1. Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 1 January 1990. They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.
However, in the case of the Hellenic Republic and the Portuguese Republic the relevant date shall be 1 January 1991.
2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission the provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive. The Commission shall inform the other Member States thereof.
This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Brussels, 12 May 1986.
INDICATIONS FOR MEASURING NOISE
INDICATIONS FOR CHECKING WORKERS' HEARING