Noisy machinery and equipment in the workplace has adverse effects on workers' health and their ability to communicate and work safely.
What are the negative effects of noisy machinery and equipment in the workplace?
Noisy machinery and equipment in industrial workplaces can be challenging in that they are in close proximity to workers and have to remain accessible. Sound levels from each individual piece of machinery build on each other and can quickly exceed safe exposure levels. The typical concrete and metal surfaces in a factory environment create a reverberant space, making the problem much worse.
What are some common causes of excessive noise in machinery and equipment?
- Maintenance issues: bad bearings, loose, belts, etc.
- Poor location: Installed near concrete or cinder block walls.
- Vibration: Equipment not mounted on properly rated vibration isolators.
- Noisy Exhaust or venting
What's the solution?
When trying to quiet down an industrial environment, the entire space has to be taken into consideration. Every piece of equipment including the HVAC system interacts with the acoustical properties of the space resulting in the overall noise levels.
Although it's impossible to eliminate every noise problem in a factory, there are many steps that can be taken to significantly reduce noise levels:
- Add absorptive material to walls and ceilings.
- Isolate loudest equipment from the main work floor when possible.
- Install acoustical enclosures around noisy equipment.
- Install acoustical barrier panels as divider walls.
- Install or replace vibration isolators.
- Install HVAC Silencers.
- Wrap pipe & duct work with acoustical lagging material.