The problem with noisy large production facilities

When it comes to dealing with excessive noise in the workplace, there are a number of factors that must be considered. First and foremost is safety. When a worker calls out ‘danger’ to another, if he is not heard, the warning is in vain and someone gets hurt. This not only opens the door to liability, but also pushes up worker’s compensation premiums. Further, regional health and safety authorities or national bodies such as OSHA in the United States and Health Canada have imposed strict regulations regarding exposure limits for employees as a means of protecting against tinnitus or permanent hearing damage. Being exposed to high sound pressure levels for extended periods has also been proven to increase anxiety which not only deteriorates performance, it also affects morale. The noise is often exacerbated by hard reflective surfaces such as concrete cinderblock or tilt-up walls, metal-clad ceilings and concrete floors.

How can Primacoustic help you?

The first line of defence is to issue ear protection to all employees that are being exposed to high sound pressure levels for any extended period of time. Although a good start, the problem of course is that protective hearing has the downside of worsening communication and safety. A more effective solution is to treat 15% to 25% of the wall surfaces with 1” (2.5cm) thick Broadway™ panels.  Thicker 2” (5cm) are used if low frequency noise is present. Increasing the panel density near the offending equipment and then placing them up high, near the ceiling and wall joint doubles the performance as sound reflecting off the ceiling will be immediately attenuated. Suspending Saturna™ baffles from the rafters above creates artificial corners that are even more effective as direct sound is absorbed on both sides of the baffle as are the reflections from the ceiling.  This dramatically decreases the reverberant field (RT) and reduces the ambient noise level. This in turn improves communication, safety and lowers the stress on employees. Broadway panels are easily installed by maintenance staff using Impalers™ while Saturna hanging baffles are suspended using SlipNot™ adjustable aircraft wire.  

Executive Summary

  • Improves safety and communication between employees
  • Reduces workspace mishaps and injuries
  • Lowers noise levels which prevents hearing damage
  • Reduces long term health costs and legal liability
  • Decreases stress and anxiety while enhancing staff morale
  • Shows commitment from management to staffs’ welfare
  • Improves workplace productivity