Noise exposure in the Fire and Rescue Service; Noise levels Operational Firefighters are exposed to on Whole-time Stations in South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
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NIHL is an increasing occupational and environmental hazard, as it is one of the most common health hazards individuals can face within the work place. It has been proved difficult from past research to assess a Firefighters noise exposure therefore, this study was conducted. This project looks into analysing the potential noise exposure sources and the levels experienced by Whole-time Firefighters in SWFRS, 2018. An empirical cross-sectional study was carried out, to evaluate noise exposure levels within Whole-time fire stations and evaluating the use of HPDs to help prevent NIHL. Questionnaires and analysis through the use of logarithmic scales and averages to analyse results of LCPeak and Laeq were used. The results are supported by other similar research findings. The results presented show the need for action to be taken, recommendations for control measures have been provided. Variables assessed within the analysis: Firefighters, equipment, time equipment is used for daily and PPE used. Results include: • LCPeak lower exposure action level has been exceeded in 2 whole-time stations: 135.5dB & 136.1dB. • Daily equipment checks; 84.84dbA are close to exceeding the upper daily personal exposure action level. • Majority of Firefighters did not wear HPDs for operational tasks on station. This study will inform SWFRS, future researchers and other emergency services about the possible risks from NIHL, aiding future research to be undertaken.
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