The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has commissioned engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash to undertake a noise hazard assessment of its Royal Navy fleet.

The study will focus on the impact of noise on communications procedures onboard a variety of vessels, as well as assessing the risk of high noise levels to the health of personnel.

The work will initially be undertaken on selected vessels; however, the MoD plans to increase the number of project teams to assess the majority of the Royal Navy surface fleet.

Kevin Hamson, project manager at Frazer-Nash, said: ‘There are wide implications of noise onboard a ship.

'The most obvious are long-term health-related issues, such as hearing loss, but there are also less obvious health implications associated with low-level noise.

‘Aside from health, we’ve applied a systems approach to look at the wider repercussions of noise.

'For example, an intercom located close to a ventilation shaft might lead to difficulty in hearing a message accurately.

‘This assessment is a substantial piece of work, particularly as our visits need to coincide with the dates when the craft are berthed in the UK.

'It’s an important job which, in the long term, could provide significant benefits for the MoD in improving safety.’

Based on the results of the study, Frazer-Nash will help the MoD to identify the cause of the noise and develop a range of solutions.

The group is also providing a software tool that will allow the tracking and recording of measured noise levels to help the MoD meet regulatory requirements.