Is the noise in your workplace getting too loud?
For organizations with products to produce, machines are vital. Without them, we wouldn’t have most of the modern luxuries we experience today. But for the workers who manage them, the environment can reach dangerous noise levels. It doesn’t have to be like this though.
Read on for these tips on how to block noise and make the work environment kinder on your workers’ hearing.
Use Noise Reduction Enclosures
It’s common for companies to use bespoke acoustic enclosures to lower machinery noise. They’re fitted and designed for each machine, for maximized results. The legal noise exposure limit is 80db and enclosures can help you achieve that.
For more open areas, acoustic screens or barriers could be enough. They trap the noise at ground level and could be enough protection to meet regulations. It’ll also save you the cost of a full enclosure.
For the best results, you want to control the noise at its source. Enclosures contain it and give workers get the protection they need. Click for more info here.
Create Noise Havens
In very noisy environments, make a “noise haven”. These are soundproof rooms you can use for anything from meetings to offices. But one should definitely be your workers’ break room.
Noise havens use noise reduction materials to trap noise outside rather than inside. For complex production facilities, they’re a great alternative to the above option. It’s not always possible to contain the noise at its source, so this can work in those cases.
Provide Adequate Ear Defenders
You should already have adequate PPE in place, but ear defenders are a must. And make it compulsory for workers to wear them on the shop floor.
Each set of ear defenders has its own noise reduction figure. Cheaper ones might reduce noise by 20-30dBA. For better quality ones, you could see a figure of 37dBA.
Noise blocking technology has come a long way, but this is a simple, easy line of defense for your workers. They let people hear each other speak but protect against noise higher than the 80dBA limit.
Change the Machine Mounting
A lot of the noise comes from it vibrating against its mounting structure and points. So, an easy way to reduce manufacturing noise is to change the way you’ve mounted your machines. You can also use damping between the mounting points, panels, and the machine.
There’s also noise that comes from the exhaust or air intakes to consider. You can reduce the thickness of them, and alter the size and layout of the pipes/ducts. This could improve the efficiency of air/gas flow as a bonus.
When there are bends in the duct/pipework close to the intake fans, it can cause turbulence. This then causes audible vibrations that add to the noise of the machine itself.
Reduce Worker’s Time in Noisy Areas
This solution is the least satisfactory and should be at the bottom of your list to consider. For lower noise levels, you can reduce hearing damage by controlling noise exposure.
You need to have a schedule so that each worker and visitor spend only a short period of time in those areas. While this can manage risks, it’s not solving the issue of high noise limits.
This option also needs strict management controls and record keeping. Should a compensation claim arise, you’ll need to have evidence to back up that you had measures in place.
Block Noise the Easy Way
So, there you have it! Now you know these tips on how to block noise, you’re well on the way to protecting your workers’ hearing.
The best way to reduce noise is at the source, so if possible consider enclosures or barriers. If that’s not possible then create noise havens that will block out the factory floor noise. Remember, noise reduction has come a long way, so speak with a professional to see how they could meet your needs.
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