It is widely understood that noise from manufacturing processes has the potential to damage workers’ hearing. The conventional approach to “industrial noise” involves reviewing personnel dosimetry, mapping noise sources, and assigning administrative and engineering controls.
The conventional approach doesn’t fully address some important items:
- buying or tolerating noisy equipment is very expensive in the long run
- impact noise is potentially more damaging than the OSHA calculations suggest
- workers tend not to stay inside personnel enclosures
- machinery enclosures may interfere with production, and may eventually fall into disuse
- hearing protectors, as typically worn, provide single-digit noise reduction
- a noisy facility hinders communication between workers and makes it harder to hear warning signals.
- workers wearing hearing protection are isolated from one another, and may be rendered functionally deaf.
Our “sound surveys” provide rank-ordered action items with related costs. We rank order each noise source on the basis of “person-doses/shift”. Our “recommendations” emphasize fixing noise problems at the source where possible, and avoid enclosures unless absolutely necessary. We can help justify the noise control investment by comparing it to the long term cost of noise exposure.