After identifying and measuring a high decibel noise problem, it is important to immediately take steps to protect the health and safety of the affected employees. The decibel scale is logarithmic therefore even minor decibel increases may have a significant impact on environmental health and safety. Below are the main ways to control and reduce exposure to noise throughout your facility.
One strategy, engineered noise control, involves a few different options. The first option begins with repairing any worn or damaged equipment that may be the root cause of the high noise levels. Then adding a barrier material or enclosure to acoustically isolate the equipment from the environment. Another practical option however, is to make physical changes along the transmission pathway. Several products are available and can be used in almost any of these applications. Examples include a sound barrier control station, acoustically isolated in-plant office or a small isolation control booth that isolates the employee from the environment.
Take a look at our noise control products and other available options.
Administrative Noise Control
Another strategy for reducing noise in the workplace is administrative noise controls. These are precautionary measures that can be implemented into your current routine, such as operating noisy machines during hours when less employees are subject to exposure. Additional administrative controls include limiting how long an employee spends at the source of the noise and having proper restrictions in place including how close a worker can be from the noise source. In a wide open space, doubling the distance between the worker and the noise source can decrease exposure by 6dBA. Lastly, having a quiet area (such as a room completely isolated from noise) for workers to escape noise sources will allow for relief and exposure control.
Hearing Protection Equipment
A commonly used method of noise control is providing hearing protection devices (also referred to as HPDs). Earmuffs and plugs are still being used in facilities today but have become a less desirable option. Typically, HPDs are used in between the implementation of administrative and engineering controls or when a facility is not in a position to implement the necessary controls. For workers that have serious hearing damage, they may be required to wear hearing protection devices to reduce the risk of further damage.
Getting Started with Workplace Noise Control
Deciding which steps to take in order to reduce noise in your facility can be challenging. O’Neill Engineered Systems, Inc. has a team of expert noise consultants that can help evaluate and recommend the right products to effectively and affordably reduce noise. Request an on-site noise control assessment or contact us directly to get started!admin