Noise in the Work Place
Workers who are exposed to excessive on-the-job noise levels can be protected.
Noise control programmes can prevent or halt most hearing damage.
1. Reduce noise
2. Provide effective hearing protection
Industry is constantly working to lower noise levels by:
- Using quieter machines and better operating methods
- Maintaining and repairing equipment for quietest operation
- Installing noise dampers – mufflers, pads, acoustical tiles, carpet, etc.
- Using sound barriers – walls, shields or a booth between workers and noise sources
- Increasing distances between workers and noise sources
- Rrescheduling work for shorter exposure or for quieter working hours
When it’s not possible to reduce noise output, personal protection is necessary.
- Earmuffs protect all parts of the ear and offer the widest range of noise protection. They don’t require frequent adjustment
- Ear plugs are effective for less intense noise levels. They must be carefully fitted and periodically checked
- Most do-it-yourself protectors (such as cotton wool) don’t really dampen noise. They fit badly and aren’t hygienic
What can workers do to reduce damage from noise?
Personal protection is your best ‘hearing insurance’. Like hard hats or safety glasses, hearing protectors must be put to work by you to be effective.
Play your part.
- Try to reduce the noise level around you
- Wear the protective equipment required on your job – and make sure it’s in good order
- If you are in a noisy industry, have regular hearing examinations
Frequently asked questions
After years without protectors, why start wearing them now?
Protective devices can stop further damage to your hearing – deafness doesn’t have to be an occupational disease.
Don’t noise protection devices make it hard to hear instructions or warnings?
Actually, with the distracting noise cut down it’s easier to hear speech and signals. You very quickly adjust to the change in sound quality that occurs when you wear protectors.