The sound is an integral part of their lives for all hearing persons, but when it crosses the border to become noise, it can be quite irritating, annoying, and often harmful for one’s physical and mental state. A majority of industrial workers can attest to being a victim of noise pollution at their workplaces.
Ill-effects of Factory Noise
Industrial noise is a working hazard known to cause several issues and thus requires factory noise control implementation. Here are a few of the many ill-effects of factory noise:
- Distraction: Aside from other factors, loud noise is known to be a huge reason for distracting workers. It has been a proven factor behind decreased levels of productivity in the workplace due to mental as well as physical strain
- Auditory damage: The sensitivity of the human ear and its structural intricacies is greatly affected by the loudness and intensity of factory noises. Continuous noise from factory day after day has also been proven to give workers irreversible hearing difficulties. This make them partially or completely audibly impaired and deaf over time.
- Communication: The increased level of noise leads to misunderstandings and miscommunication information among workers. This also further leads to mistrust and botched factory processes
- Injuries: It has also led to an increased number of work-related accidents and injuries occurring
Ways and Means to Reduce Factory Noise
Here are a few ways in which an employer or business can implement factory noise control:
- Noise Source: The most effective way of reducing factory noise is to stump the problem at the root. This means that the noise source – typically the factory machinery – should be altered to produce minimal to no noise. Some examples of these are welding instead of riveting, grinding instead of chipping, pressing instead of forging, and more.
- Layout: Factories that produce large amounts of noise should be built in a location away from neighboring cities and villages. So it will not affect the hearing of those residing there. They should also be constructed, so that office spaces are built away from the production units. It will protect the employees working in the offices from factory noise.
- Isolation: Those who are most affected by such noise are the employees who work in the production unit. The best way to protect them from hearing loss and injuries is by building acoustic enclosures. Such enclosures isolate them from the noise-producing equipment and machinery. These acoustic enclosures are build from soundproofing material. They have minimal openings such as doors and windows to reduce the amount of sound that enters the enclosure.
- Devices: If working right next to the machinery is necessary, the worker should be provided with some hearing protection. Such device may includes noise-canceling headphones to minimize the noise that enters their ears.
Signs of the Onset of Hearing Loss due to Such Noise
Some of the signs that factory noise is inducing hearing loss can include a constant low humming or ringing within the ear even after leaving the workplace. Another indicator of the start of hearing impairment can be the reduced ability to hear someone talking right beside them. One of the other common warnings of hearing loss is slight pain within the ear or short temporary periods of deafness. If any worker exposed to noise at their workplace complains of having any of the problems above, they must visit their doctor for a consultation and prescription immediately.