How to make an effective noise assessment at workplaces!
One of the worst kinds of pollution the developing world facing now is excessive exposure to noise. Noise levels at workplaces when it crosses above certain decibels can be deleterious to health and can even lead to permanent hearing impairment, irritability or neurological/phycological disorders.
It is therefore important for the workplace managers and employers to assess the noise levels inside the work premises caused due to machinery and other work processes correctly, and take preventive measures for the wellbeing of their employees.
How to conduct noise assessment?
Noise assessment should be carried out by competent professionals who must have done similar works earlier and have proficiency and also authorised to conduct noise assessment at various industrial environments.
Noise assessment must take into account various factors such as type of work activities, plants or machinery forming noise source, extent of exposure to individual employee in every shift and other factors such as noise absorption levels of walls, surfaces and work layouts.
Consultation with workers and shop-floor mangers will help to make the assessment precise and lead to suitable solutions in case the noise levels go beyond the safer limits.
With the help of hand-held sound monitors, sound levels can be gauged and recorded at various intervals. Finding the sources of noise is essential to understand the nature of noise and possibility of right solution. Sometime, noise from single source doesn’t need an elaborate study but only a suitable measure.
As continuous hearing of loud noise can impact people at various levels, it is mandatory to assess individual hearing capacity and weakness to noise pollution. Once all aspects of noise are analysed, a report should be submitted for future course of action.
How to prevent workers from excessive exposure to noise?
In industrial environments, sometimes due to various factors one can’t avoid getting exposed to sustained noise pollution. In that case, there are various preventive measures noise assessment experts should recommend. One such effective way is preventing noise to enter into diaphragm. Industrial noise filters and ear plugs can prevent workers from getting hearing loss or any other health problem. With technology coming to the rescue, employers make sound-proof walls, roofs and panels which can prevent noise travelling from one place to another.
Who can do noise assessment?
Noise assessment must be done by people who have expertise and experience to conduct assessment of similar types. There are regulations and procedures have been formulated for conducting noise assessment, and experts should work with in guidelines and prepare noise assessment reports. The assessment officers must have exposure to calibrate noise measuring instruments and use them diligently in right environment.
Apart from being an expert and have certification, they should
- Know WHS regulations for industrial noise exposure
- Have expertise in checking performance of testing equipment
- Have experience to take measurement accurately
- Be able to analyse and read the results correctly and prepare comprehensive reports
Provide know how to reduce the noise levels and give appropriate suggestions
Content of assessment reports
Assessment reports must contain the following information
- Should show that assessment has included every mandatory factor
- List all information as per the guidelines
- Contains appropriate control measures
- How to train workers exposed to high noise levels
The report should be made available to various people, including managers, supervisors, health and safety experts and regulatory authorities.