If your employees’ ears are ringing, you may have a noise problem. Here’s how to prevent industrial deafness

Ashley Churchyard, Fsp Business, 23 May. 2014

Tags: industrial deafness, causes of hearing loss, noise survey, noise cancelling ear plugs, ear protectors

Noise pollution may be an invisible polluter, but that doesn’t make it any less problematic. Noise pollution and excessive noise are by far the leading cause of hearing loss.

If you run a factory with noisy machinery, then noise pollution is definitely a problem you’ll need to deal with.

But don’t fear, we have three ways you can prevent and deal with noise pollution.

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Three ways you can protect employees from industrial deafness

The Health and Safety Advisor say when it comes to industrial deafness, you need to: Control noise at the source, in the surrounding areas or with your employee. And that’s why your first step is to do a noise survey to find out where the problem is coming from first.
The best place to control noise is from the place it originates from. So this is where you must start when preventing noise pollution:
Guideline #1: Look at the source
Replace equipment with quieter models;
Maintain your machinery regularly. For example, lubrication can reduce noise by reducing friction;
Fix or change machinery to change the amount of noise it makes;
Cover the equipment with sound absorbing materials;
Isolate vibrating machinery;
Set fan speeds lower;
Fit silencers on exhausts;
Enclose machinery parts; and
Place noise sources further away from employees.
If you want to reduce the noise even more, you can add measures in the surrounding area next:
Guideline #2: Look at the surrounding area
You can enclose noisy machinery with soundproof barriers, walls and ceilings;
You can contain sound within buildings if you use insulation;
Change work patterns so workers are exposured to high noise levels for less time; and
Do noisy work after hours to reduce the number of employees exposed.
There’s one more way you can protect your employees from industrial deafness. 
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Cut down on your employee’s exposure to the noise

You can cut down on your employee’s exposure to the noise to deal noise pollution. Here’s how:
Guideline #3: Look at your administrative controls
You can change the way employees do the work;
Reduce the time employees spend in noisy areas;
Move workers from noisy areas to quieter areas; and
If you can’t reduce the noise, you must provide hearing protection.  This includes noise cancelling ear plugs and ear protectors.
There are things you must do if your employees have already suffered hearing damage. So rather prevent it first.




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