In the UK, the noise level in bottling plants which requires employers to make hearing protection available to workers is 80 dB, and the level at which workers must wear hearing protection is set at 85 dB. The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which come into force on 6 April 2006, require employers to do the following: assess the risks employees face from noise at work; take action to reduce noise exposure that produces such risks; provide employees with hearing protection if the noise exposure cannot be reduced sufficiently by other methods; ensure that legal limits on noise exposure are not exceeded; provide employees with information, instruction and training; and conduct health surveillance where there is a risk to health.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced a free leaflet that provides useful information on a number of areas, including: how loud noise can damage hearing; how to assess and control noise at work; different types of hearing protection; when to inform and consult workers; and health surveillance.
Chemicals are often another of the major hazards to be found in a bottling plant and working with chemicals requires a risk assessment. Risk assessments, training in chemicals handling and COSHH issues should be provided by your supplier as part of the service. Manual handling of chemicals creates a high potential risk, however dangerous handling of chemicals can be avoided by use of suitable proportioning and dosing devices, a range of which is available from several suppliers.