Some of the dangers of too much noise in the workplace include the following:
- Irritability and stress from the strain of talking or trying to hear over loud sounds
- Inability to hear important work or safety instructions
- Headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, and other disorders
- Temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Reducing Workplace Noise
Here are some ways to reduce workplace noise:
- Move noisy machinery to a separate area or provide a sound barrier
- Reduce vibration by placing machinery on rubber mounting
- Use sound-absorbing products such as acoustical tiles and blankets
- Rearrange work schedules to reduce an individual’s time spent in a noisy area.
If employees are exposed to more than 85 decibels over an 8-hour period, the employer must have a hearing conservation program that includes monitoring, hearing tests, PPE, recordkeeping, and annual training.
If you work with a tool or piece of equipment that cannot have its noise level reduced to a safe level, you must protect yourself with proper hearing protection.
Your participation in wearing the hearing protection device (HPD), and taking care of it, is key to protecting you from temporary or permanent hearing loss.
Select the HPD based on how loud the noise is, whether the noise is pitched high or low if the HPD fits comfortably, and if the HPD has the proper noise reduction rating (NRR).