Hearing loss is a very real and common health risk in the manufacturing industry. Noise levels in workshops typically range from 80-125dB(A). Science proves that any level over 85dB(A) can cause irreversible hearing loss.
What are the risks of high noise?
High noise levels not only pose a hazard to the hearing of workers, but also create other health issues and safety risks. Research shows that there is a definite link between excessive noise levels and high workplace stress.
Aside from stress and hearing loss, excess noise levels can also cause headaches and fatigue amongst staff, as well as general dissatisfaction and dislike of their job. These factors contribute to lower productivity, lower efficiency and increased staff absenteeism; eventually this leads to lower profits for the organisation overall.
The physical safety of employees can also be put at risk due to excess workplace noise. Workers may miss hearing a warning bell or an evacuation alarm; someone may not hear a forklift or a truck behind them; or, a worker may not hear a colleague shouting a warning or calling for help.
The government has certain legislation in regards to noise levels that must be adhered to. Employers must be considerate and responsible for the health and safety of their staff, the surrounding community and the environment.
The solution in action
Geofabrics is a well-known company operating throughout the whole of Australasia. Geofabrics manufacture a wide range of fabrics and materials from mesh and polyester foams to wires and pipes, for any outdoor application including roads and railways, landfill, mining and sports fields.
The Gold Coast branch of Geofabrics contacted Flexshield because a large needle loom was generating excessive noise levels in their workshop.
Flexshield tailor made a V100 SonicSystem Acoustic Enclosure 18m L x 12m W x 4.5m H that adhered to safety and government body regulations. The enclosure included four full height double acoustic doors and four standard height double acoustic doors.
Geofabrics experienced huge benefits from the installation of an Acoustic Enclosure. The noise levels in their workshop decreased significantly, allowing for a safer, healthier and happier workplace operating more efficiently and effectively.
The absorption capabilities of the V100 SonicSystem proved excellent; the Geofabrics production manager commented that it worked so well they could leave the enclosure doors open.
The Australian industry is becoming increasingly aware of the impact of noise on staff members, clients, and the surrounding community and environment.
Measures must be taken to reduce excess noise in workshops, or ideally remove it completely. Doing so will reduce noise associated risks and ensure a safe, pleasant and productive workplace.