Occupational and Environmental Noise and Vibration Testing and Assessment

Occupational Noise and Vibration Testing and Assessments are carried out to assess workplace noise and vibration exposure and to establish appropriate controls where needed.

Environmental Noise and Vibration testing and assessments are also carried out to assess the environmental noise impact and compliance.


Sudden loud, excessive and prolonged exposure to occupational noise may cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) to employees within the working environment. Similarly, exposure to excess vibration can cause health problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and back pain. The OH&S legislation requires that workplace noise and vibrations hazards is identified, assessed and controlled.

Employee exposure to noise and vibration should hence be assessed in workplaces with excessive noise caused by machinery, plant and work processes. The assessment of noise and vibration can be carried out by way of physically measuring the noise and vibration levels with sampling equipment such as sound level meters and vibration sensors.

Types of Noise and Vibration Assessments

Walkthrough Survey
Initial noise identification in the shape of a walkthrough survey of the place of assessment is typically carried out in order to identify any noise issues within the workplace. The assessment can be carried out using a sound level meter to take spot measurements of the average and peak noise levels found within a work area and also emitted from specific plant and machinery.

Detailed noise assessment
Further detailed noise assessment is then carried out where the initial assessment found cause for concern and recommendations for further assessment were made. The further assessment would be carried out to ensure that the identified concerns are sufficiently assessed. The detailed assessment may include, but not limited to assessments such as personal noise sampling (noise dosimetry) of employees and operators, noise mapping and zoning of work areas, frequency analysis of noise sources.

Noise Dosimetry
Is the specific noise sampling carried out of representative employees or exposure groups, where the noise sampler (dosimeter) is attached to the assessed person to measure the specific noise exposure of this employee.

Frequency Analysis
Frequency analysis is carried out by an octave band sound level meter to determine the distribution and noise levels different frequency ranges. This sampling is mainly carried out to determine whether the specific noise source is high or low pitched and the appropriateness of the hearing protectors used (if used).

Follow Up Assessments
Noise assessments should reviewed and follow up assessments carried out within five years of the previous detailed assessment. Where any changes to the workplace take place that may affect noise exposures, a follow up assessment should be carried out. These changes may be the introduction of new machinery, change in procedures and shifts and changes to work stations, machinery and building structures.

Whole-body vibration
WBV is vibration transmitted to the entire body through standing or sitting on a source of vibration such as motorized vehicles and vibration plant.

The sampling for WBV can be carried out with a personal vibration monitor with a WBV sensor assembly.

Hand arm Vibration
HAV, is vibration only affecting the hand and arm form activities such as powered tools, jack hammering and vehicle controls.

The sampling for HAV can be carried out with a personal vibration monitor with a HAV sensor assembly.

Environmental Noise and Vibration Testing and Assessment
SWE can also carry out environmental noise and vibration testing and assessments to determine compliance with environmental and local council noise legislation and requirements. These types of assessments are typically carried out to ensure compliance with EPA license and DA requirements during construction projects of different nature. Restaurants, pubs, clubs and outdoor events such as music concerts, festivals and sports events also require assessment of environmental noise levels to ensure that the events are not intrusive to the general public.

Related Services
Management Plans and Procedures can be prepared to assist employers and organisations with their noise and vibration management at a workplace, for environmental managements and during specific projects. Link to procedures , etc.