If a colleague struggles to hear conversation in a loud working environment you will know from HSE guidance that the noise is likely to be around 80dB, the eight-hour average exposure level set by the Noise at Work Regulations. But if you work alone how can you assess the ambient levels without expensive monitoring equipment and assessments?

The solution is the size of a key fob, weighs 20g, and when activated emits a continuous sound at 80dB. If the Oi-Noise tool can be clearly heard when held about 40cm from the ear then you know the ambient noise is below the 80dB action level. The product is battery powered, pocket sized, requires no training and the results require no interpretation. The idea has won awards and accreditations from IOSH, the BSIF, the British Chamber of Commerce and even London South Bank University for its simplicity and economy. Oi is being marketed by uvex, which also distributes a range of hearing ­protection from traditional high quality ear muffs to ear plugs such as the new Hi-Com.


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