Where does the noise come from?
Did you know woodworking creates some of the noisiest work places in industry? Most people working in woodworking shops are likely to have a noise exposure that exceeds the upper exposure action value of 85 Db, therefore noise controls must be put in place. The noise comes from several activities or processes, particularly noisy machines include vertical spindle moulders, thicknessers, multi-cutter moulders. All these machines can senate noise in excess of 100Db.
What problems does it cause?
Temporary hearing loss can occur from short exposures to high noise levels, but longer exposures can lead to permanent damage. Many sufferers don’t realise their hearing is being damaged, as hearing loss tends to be gradual. Tinnitus can develop, which can be a permanent ringing or whooshing sound in the ears and this can be very uncomfortable particularly when it’s quiet.
What solutions can you use to combat noise in workshops?
1. Workshop Zoning:
To zone a workshop in areas is a popular idea throughout the manufacturing industry as it is a straightforward way to implement lean production methods. However, zoning could also work well for noise, by segregating an area for noisy machines it can reduce noise in other areas of the facility. For example, a thicknesser machine would be put a different end to where final finishing is done meaning the noise is kept to one area. Further ideas include putting canteen facilities away from any noise zones means employees can rest in a place where they don’t have to wear ear protection.
2. Acoustic Panel Solutions and Sound Curtains:
Is noise a serious problem in your facility? It could be worth investigating sound absorbing acoustic solutions. One popular method is to segregate an area of a production facility with a floor to ceiling sound curtain, which absorbs the sound and prevents it affecting other areas. Another idea would be to put acoustic foam in celling voids which will absorb any noise generated below. Also putting acoustic doors in place will prevent noise leaving a production area and affecting offices and break out rooms, meaning that employees can take breaks from the noise in comfort.
Although the above suggestions may assist to tackle noise, it doesn’t reduce the risk to employees and furthermore individuals that work in these high noise areas will need personal protection (as stated by ‘The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005’). See below for our suggestions for your consideration.
Adkwik’s Hearing Protection Range:
Employers should provide staff with suitable hearing protectors and staff should be trained how to use them. Here at Adkwik we offer a range of comfortable hearing protection products, from the Moldex Spark plug range to Moldex ear muffs.
Moldex Spark Plug Station
250 pairs per box
500 pairs per box
From £30.38 ex VAT
Moldex M5 Earmuff
£23.63 ex VAT
Moldex M4 Earmuff
£14.48 ex VAT
If you have any queries please or want more advice then please don’t hesitate to contact our technical team by email or by phone.
The above blog is only suggestions to consider when faced with noise issues in workshops and factories. You should contact authorised health & safety professionals before taking any action. Adkwik t/as Adkwik Ltd takes no responsibilities for the actions you take regarding noise or related issues- see our t&c’s.