How Loud is Too Loud at a Jobsite?

Job sites that work with heavy equipment have a common issue of excessive noise. Exposure to loud work environments causes hearing problems in later years. However, some people suffer hearing issues right away. It’s essential to understand that some industries require heavy machinery like construction, excavation, textile and printing press.

Business risk management professionals suggest companies with loud machinery should take certain measures to keep noise at a bearable level at job sites, without interrupting business.

Understanding Human Audibility

A normal human’s hearing capacity in a day is no more than 85 decibel. This is the maximum exposure an employee can tolerate. Anything above that level may lead to hearing difficulties. For an average of eight (8) hours, workers can handle 85 decibels without any harm to their ears.

If there is nearby equipment louder than 85 decibels and the equipment is needed to perform normal day-to-day tasks, there is a way work can be performed – while protecting employees, by scaling back time near the noisy machine.

A maximum of 88 decibels can be withstood for a maximum of four (4) hours. A maximum of 91 decibels can be withstood for a maximum of one (1) to two (2) hours. In excess of 91 decibels can be withstood for a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes.

Measures to Control When Noise is too Loud

There are several ways a business can handle excessive noise in an industry. It is important to recognize when loud noise becomes a nuisance. At this point, it is then within the power of the industry’s policymakers to understand how to balance uninterrupted work and employees’ well-being.

Depending on the type of industry and the production required per day, this can be taken into consideration when devising noise-controlling policies. A noisy machine can be put to rest at intervals where it emits an acceptable amount of noise yet is not dangerously deafening to nearby employees. Workplace safety is of utmost priority.

There are particular machines and equipment that cannot be shut down due to productivity and other technical reasons. In these cases, it’s essential to take additional safety measures after discussing it with a competent risk management service. Different measures can be applied to safeguard the workers in situations where machines cannot be shut down – yet are extremely loud. Policymakers may systematically allocate a rotation of employees to be near the noisy machine.

The above suggestions and some carefully designed policies – along with the help of a professional risk management service, can help your employees avoid unnecessary exposure to loud machinery.

If you want to learn more about safety for workers and customers or wish to find more information about workplace safety then contact SIA Insurance Group by calling at (630) 325-4000.


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