In any work environment, too much noise can not only be very distracting and disorienting but also leads to creating an unsafe workplace. In extreme cases, it can even lead to permanent loss of hearing. In noisy work situations, workers may not hear instructions or warning announcements. Thus, if such a situation persists, it is important to hire an agency for noise monitoring and reduce or eliminate the cause of the noise, so as to achieve a safe work environment.
The damaging effects of dangerous noise levels
Due to the intricacy of the auditory system and the sensitivity of the ear in general, we must try to understand the damaging effects of loud noises. Avoiding loud workplaces or excessively loud noises anywhere would keep your ears healthy. This is why it is vital for companies to mitigate dangerously loud noises at workplaces. As a business manager or as an owner of a company, keeping your workers safe should be one of your top priorities.
According to experts, any noise higher than 85 decibels which is quite comparable to heavy traffic, can be of worry to people. As the decibels increase, so does the risk of permanent damage to the ears. On top of all this, people who experience prolonged exposure to loud noises are more prone to develop hearing issues. As a general rule of thumb, you should not expose yourself to loud continuous noises for more than 2 minutes. Not following these guidelines may lead to the following problems.
- Mental and physical stress
- Decreased productivity at work
- Difficulty in concentrating or communicating with people around
- Higher chances of work-related injuries and accidents
- Experiencing spurts of periodic hearing loss, sometimes brief and sometimes prolonged
- A constant humming or ringing sound in the ears
How to reduce workplace noise exposure via proper noise monitoring?
Limit employee exposure: You can keep your employees safe by limiting the time they spend near the source of the noise. Many companies even put up soundproof rooms for workers. If that’s not possible, at least do the same for them to recover during breaks. While this may not be a permanent solution, this is still a change for the better.
Using hearing protection devices: This is an absolute must for deafening work environments. If you can’t limit the exposure of workers in loud environments, you can at least provide protective hearing devices to your staff. This can either be in the form of earplugs or earmuffs.
Lower the noise levels: The most direct way of dealing with deafening environments at manufacturing units or industries is to use better engineering tools or equipment. It is up to the management or the owners to make the switch to low-noise tools, equipment, and machines, and to put up sound walls or curtains to further dampen the sound.
Invest in occasional noise monitoring: The final tip to protect your staff from loud noises and long-term hearing loss is to monitor the noise levels periodically. This is a never-ending process – one that needs constant and repeated efforts from your end to keep your workers safe. If your workers complain about disorientation, headaches, and hearing discomfort, it’s time to take action.
By teaming with a professional and reliable company that deals in occupational noise evaluations, you get to show your staff that you care about them, and keeping them safe is your top priority. This instils a sense of pride in them, thus heightening productivity. On the other hand, the noise evaluation would give you a clear idea about which products or machines need urgent maintenance and which equipment need to be replaced to bring the situation under control. This also helps you in figuring out whether your employees work in an environment where the noise levels exceed 85 decibels – the maximum level a worker can endure during 8-hour shifts. After all, being proactive about keeping your staff safe always helps.