Noise Awareness In The Workplace: Why Is It Important?
Nov 11 2021 10:30AM
2 million people in Great Britain are exposed to unacceptable levels of noise at work. Noise-induced hearing loss is the second most common reason for employers' claims for occupational health. Noise induced hearing loss is irreversible damage through exposure to high levels of noise. It is slow and damage is often over many years, people don’t realise it is happening to them.
However, surplus noise can have wider-reaching issues than hearing loss; it can cause pain and even affect balance. As such, it's easy to see why people are trying to raise more awareness surrounding noise protection in the workplace, with new regulations being introduced too. But do you know what these are and how to protect your employees? Let's find out.
What Are Harmful Noise Levels In The Workplace?
You may be wondering what constitutes an unacceptable level of noise in the workplace. Well, the source can include anything from loud music and heavy machinery to transport lines, generators, and electrical motors. Sounds above 85 decibels (dB) are harmful depending how long and how often you are exposed. The main issue with this type of noise is its level of invisibility. Yes, you can hear it, but because hearing is lost over a period of time, the damage has already been done before workers realise, they even have a problem.
One of main issue is that the frequency range from noise induced hearing loss is also at the range we need to clearly understand speech. While many people reach for ear defenders in a bid to combat hearing loss, this shouldn’t be the first control measure.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Employees?
The first step is to understand the noise in your workplace by carrying out a noise assessment. With this information, you can start to reduce or control how much noise you produce. At Arion, we'll provide specific advice tailored to your business, but some control measures can include purchasing quieter machines and moving noisy processes away from each other. You can also use acoustic dampening materials to absorb any excessive noise.
We also offer employees and managing staff the opportunity to undertake noise awareness training and/or occupational health and safety courses so that everyone can do their bit. Employees can undergo occupational health screening where their hearing is tested to determine if their hearing has been affected by work. At Arion, our ultimate aim is to help you protect your workers, so for more information on noise awareness in the workplace, please contact our team today.
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