When we talk about industrial noise control, it shouldn’t sound out of place as most industrial activities generate noise at different level. Knowing the negative impact of noise on total wellbeing, it is pertinent that we understand the concept of noise generation, exposure and control.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 22 million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Whether you work at a sports venue, on a tarmac, or operate a jackhammer—hearing loss is preventable.
This is why this article is very important; though you may not be working directly where there is risk of exposure to excessive noise, the information you gather may be used as a guide to advise persons who are exposed and do not know how to manage the situation.
We will be considering the subject matter under some sub-headings:
What is Industrial Noise Control
Industrial noise control generally involves the replacement of noise-producing machinery or equipment with quieter alternatives, shielding noisy equipment to minimize noise, reducing employee exposure time to noise, use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
It is legally required that employers reduce their noise exposure level to as low as reasonably practicable to safe guard their employees and prevent hearing loss.
OSHA Noise Control Standard
Noise hazards are addressed in OSHA standards for recordkeeping and general industry. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to noise. For information on construction employment, see the construction requirements section.
Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”. This section may be used to address hazards for which there are no specific standards, e.g. noise in agricultural operations. Noise Standards
Industrial noise control products
Sound attenuation panels:
Acoustic panels are the most popular solution for spaces where echo and reverberation create so much ambient noise, it’s difficult to hear. By absorbing sound, acoustic panels minimize sound reflections and create a more comfortable acoustic environment where speech is intelligible, and loudness is reduced.
Acoustic panels serve a very simple purpose. They introduce porous materials and density to the space. When sound waves impact hard surfaces, they reflect back into the room. The flatter those surfaces the more direct the reflections. Direct reflections can lead to audio issues in rooms, like echo and reverberation.
Perforated metal sound absorbing panels:
Perforated metal panels deliver ample sound absorption over a wide frequency range. Suitable for indoor and outdoor applications, its acoustical properties, appearance, cleanable/wipeable surface, and rugged durability make it the choice for controlling reverberant, noisy spaces where panels must resist damage from impacts, abrasion, or moisture.
- Industrial Facilities/Factories
- Wastewater Treatment Plants
- Mechanical Equipment Rooms
- Outdoor Equipment Yards
- Generator Rooms
- Pump Rooms
- Multi-Purpose Rooms
- Recreational Facilities
Industrial noise control acoustic wall blanket:
Sound Shield Sound Proof Acoustic Blankets are used in Industrial & Commercial Rooms where sound needs to be absorbed as well as reverberations and echoing stopped. These Acoustical Blankets with grommets are made from either a 1”, 2”, or even 4” Sound Absorbing Fiberglass based materials. Typical Uses Include Factories, Warehouses, Auditoriums, Sound Booths, and Gymnasiums. For Increased noise blocking in addition to sound absorption, use our Sound Shield Curtains which include mass loaded vinyl plus quilted fiberglass. These Sound Proof Blankets can also stop Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Employees. These can also be used as sound blankets for a studio.
Machine sound enclosures:
An acoustic enclosure – sometimes called sound or noise enclosures, or soundproof enclosures – are soundproof chambers designed to keep noise in or out. They can be small and portable or building-sized. Acoustic enclosures are often made out of heavy-duty materials like sheet metal, timber, loaded vinyl, plasterboard or glass.
The use of these materials to encompass the noise source helps to stop noise from radiating out. Acoustic enclosures can be used to isolate and block noise from leaving the area and reaching outside the enclosure, or they can be used to stop outside noise from getting into interior spaces.
Acoustic enclosures may also be used to block or reduce the force of noise that lies at frequencies that could interfere with precise manufacturing processes or measurements, or certain noise frequencies that hit the most sensitive part of human hearing.
Noise Control Videos
Noise mitigation measures
Noise mitigation measures in the industry is very important to protect the health and safety of workers and the surrounding community. Here are 10 common noise mitigation measures in the industry:
1. Engineering Controls:
a. Acoustic enclosures: Use soundproof barriers or enclosures to isolate noisy machinery and equipment.
b. Damping materials: Apply vibration-damping materials to machinery and surfaces to reduce noise transmission.
c. Acoustic insulation: Install sound-absorbing materials on walls, ceilings, and floors to minimize sound reflection.
2. Silencers and Mufflers:
a. Use mufflers and silencers on exhaust systems and pneumatic equipment to reduce noise at the source.
3. Machine Maintenance:
a. Regularly maintain and lubricate machinery to minimize friction and vibration that can lead to increased noise levels.
4. Administrative Controls:
a. Schedule noisy operations during non-working hours to reduce exposure to workers and the community.
b. Implement job rotation to limit the time workers spend in noisy areas.
c. Provide hearing protection equipment and ensure proper training on its use.
5. Noise Barriers:
a. Erect physical barriers or walls to block sound transmission between noisy areas and quieter ones.
6. Source Isolation:
a. Relocate noisy equipment to areas with less human traffic or separate them from workspaces.
7. Control Room Design:
a. Design control rooms and operator stations with soundproofing materials to reduce noise exposure.
8. Regular Equipment Inspection:
a. Regularly inspect machinery and equipment for signs of wear and tear that could increase noise levels.
9. Technology Upgrades:
a. Consider investing in quieter, more modern equipment and machinery as replacements become necessary.
10. Environmental Noise Monitoring:
a. Conduct regular noise surveys to identify and address problem areas in the facility.
It is important to note that noise mitigation strategies should be implemented in accordance with local regulations and standards to ensure compliance and the protection of workers and the community.