A common hazard in certain industries, such as gas plants, is injury caused as a result of noise exposure. Millions of workers are exposed to dangerous noise levels yearly and, as a result, standards must be in place to protect them. OSHA’s standards state that continued exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels for eight hours can cause permanent hearing loss. The higher the noise levels go, the shorter the amount of time one should be exposed. These levels are as follows:
- 8 hours – 85 decibels
- 4 hours – 88 decibels
- 2 hours – 91 decibels
- 60 minutes – 94 decibels
- 30 minutes – 97 decibels
- 15 minutes – 100 decibels
Imagine sitting in heavy traffic when horns are blaring, and base levels are emanating from cars. A heavy traffic environment is oftentimes emitting sounds levels that are sitting around that 85-decibel mark. Now imagine sitting in this for eight hours every day. Suffice to say, your hearing may eventually diminish.
Employers are responsible for monitoring the sound levels in work environments. There are tools that can gauge where these levels sit. Employers are also responsible for divulging the information they’ve collected to their employees. Employers should repeat these tests if anything occurs that will alter these volumes.
If sound levels are too high, employers should also provide their employees with the appropriate protective equipment. Noise-canceling headphones are one of the best wearable items for hearing protection.
One of the most effective ways that employers can control sound in the workplace is to equip the proper machinery with silencers. Industrial acoustic noise enclosures and inlet silencers are among the many noise solutions that we here at SVI Industrial provide. When silencing equipment is properly installed to the appropriate machinery, sound levels decrease to a level that provides a safe environment for workers.
We encourage you to test your workplace’s sound levels both before and after having professionally crafted silencers installed—the difference is sure to blow you away. If you’d like to learn more about the services we provide, feel free to contact us with any questions today.