Continuing a growing, global awareness of the impact of noise in the workplace, worksafe has increased its focus on the problem in 2018. In a recent post specifically on the subject of noise in construction, workplace nz spells out the risks, identifies the tools of the trade and their typical noise output, and offers advice about noise reduction.
Hearing loss is permanent
The important starting point about workplace noise, as Worksafe so bluntly stated in a recent email newsletter, is that “hearing loss is permanent. Once the damage is done, there’s no cure.”
And while there are provisions in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 that provide legislation around noise (and of course other issues around workplace safety), there is a feeling in some quarters of industry that, as a generalisation, managing noise levels in the workplace is not being taken as seriously as it should be.
Worksafe’s newsletter stated that “over 30% of New Zealand workers are exposed to loud noise at work at least a quarter of the time and this will be higher in construction.”
Worksafe point out the links from noisy environments to heart disease and also the butterfly effect that can be created by a noisy work environment; as noise increases, the ability to hear approaching people, machinery and safety communications reduces and so general workplace safety is exposed to greater risk.
So what can be done?
Start by reading Worksafe’s Noise in construction guidelines here. Their guide gives advice on managing noise levels on a construction site. It includes information about measuring noise levels and a Noise Hazard Identification Checklist.
For those who are genuinely committed to reducing noise levels in their workplace and protecting their workforce and site visitors from the impact of noise, Supply Force can help! We offer a FREE Onsite Noise Assessment (not available in all locations – please contact us for details) as well as a free, no-obligation quote on our range of Echo Barrier noise-reducing products.
Below we’ve included the full article from Worksafe’s recent email newsletter.
Introducing Echo Barrier
Echo barrier is for those looking to improve the culture around workplace safety and improve health & safety compliance.
Today, all contractors have a responsibility to protect both the public and the employees from hazards. All contractors in the construction industry face challenges with noise and dust management.
Some contractors have a better culture than others when it comes to managing such challenges. It really depends on the health and safety culture of the contractor and how health and safety policies are conducted in daily site life.
Echo barrier products are suitable for manufacturing environments, and can be used for noise pollution protection for machinery as well as generators
Echo Barrier has sound proof barriers for use as temporary site fencing as well as sound absorbing tents for gensets and other noisy construction and manufacturing machinery.
Excerpt from Worksafe’s recent email newsletter
Fighting noise-induced hearing loss
Hearing loss is permanent. Once the damage is done, there’s no cure.
Many construction tasks, tools and equipment produce high noise levels which can lead to hearing problems. Over 30% of New Zealand workers are exposed to loud noise at work at least a quarter of the time and this will be higher in construction.
Working in noisy environments is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease. It also has the potential to become a workplace safety risk if workers are not able to hear instructions, moving vehicles and equipment.
Give your ears a battering today and you might not notice any effects tomorrow. But noise-induced hearing loss is caused by repeated exposures to loud noise over many years.
The good news is noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. So what can you do to prevent it?
Providing adequate hearing protection, removing the noise entirely, quietening the noise, stopping the noise from reaching people and reducing the time of exposure to the noise are some ways.
Is our world getting noisier?
Whether you’re working in a classroom or working at a construction site – noise is something we all deal with on a day-to-day basis. But how much noise is bad for our health?
Radio New Zealand breaks down the health affects of noise in their article Our Noisy World. Check it out on their website.
Up to 40dB noise control
Echo Barrier is a cutting-edge acoustic barrier used worldwide, tested and proven to give up to 40dB noise control.
1. WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER
Extremely durable and waterproof, the highest quality PVC makes our acoustic barrier easy to clean and professional looking.
2. ACOUSTIC ABSORBENT
Top grade lightweight acoustic absorbent which prevents sound from reflecting off the barrier.
3. WATERPROOF BREATHABLE MEMBRANE
Allows sound to be absorbed but keeps water out.
4. DURABLE REINFORCED MESH
Extends product life to retain acoustic performance in harsh working environments.
Echo barrier h series noise control system
Dimensions (flat): 2050mm high x 1335mm wide
Dimensions (rolled): 400mm diameter x 1335mm
Field Performance: 10–40 dB Noise Reduction (greater if barriers are doubled up)