You might expect to see some level of noise measurement in the world-famous National Railway Museum but you’d probably guess that would be front of house, where the locomotives take centre stage. That’s only part of the story though!
Anna Kavanagh is the Group Health & Safety Advisor for the Science Museum Group and responsible for both the London Science Museum and National Railway Museum sites – two great attractions which draw in tens of thousands of visitors each year with very different exhibits.
Whilst the visitors enjoy the front of house entertainment it’s what’s going on behind the scenes that is more likely to pose a potential headache for Anna when it comes to protecting employees’ hearing.
Both museums sites have their own workshops that are used for maintenance work as well as creating displays for the many varied exhibitions that take place on site. The workshop employs around 15 staff, working 9 hour shifts each. Anna bought two Cirrus doseBadge® kits as the employees based in the workshop had access to up to 40 different types of equipment and, whilst they were not using them for very long, it was hard to monitor on a consistent basis the noise levels they were being subjected to.
The teams are constantly working on new exhibits that are regularly changed and modified to keep the attractions fresh and interesting for the museum visitors. The York team had the extra duties associated with keeping some of the world’s most famous locomotives in tip top condition.
“They may only be cutting out shapes for a display for a few seconds but it is high intensity noise and I needed to be confident this didn’t take them over their daily allowance,” explained Anna. “The doseBadges® are ideal because they don’t get in the way of the day to day working but give me the full picture of what the employee has been exposed to during a typical shift.”
“Fortunately we found out this time that the men we monitored were all well within the 135dB peak levels and they didn’t exceed their daily limits either, so it was very helpful.” The doseBadge® enabled Anna to get the data she needed over a full shift to ensure that the workers weren’t subjected to high levels of noise that would take them over the UK Noise at Work levels. It also meant that she didn’t have to devote a day of her time to each employee to monitor them using other static methods which freed up her diary to get on with other tasks. She liked the easy to use software that comes as standard with the doseBadges®. “It gives you the full picture,” she said. “You know you have the evidence there to rely on over a set period of time.” Before Anna went to work for the Museum she had previous experience of the Cirrus product range having used the doseBadges® when she worked for West Yorkshire Police health & safety team. Here she was more likely to be monitoring the dogs kennels or mounted section for excessive noise rather than locomotives – “You wouldn’t believe the amount of noise the dogs could make,” she laughed. “It certainly made for an interesting day!”