Noise in the workplace – Can you hear me Mother?

Pardon? Excuse me? Sorry? You’ll have to speak up I didn’t quite catch that.

Fingers in your earsHow many times do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves? For me, it’s happening more and more often and I don’t think it can all be down to my increasing years!

Life in general is definitely getting noisier whether it’s in the workplace, in the supermarket, on the train, or at home, there just seems to be much more going on.

And for some people, all that racket can lead to serious hearing problems and even complete hearing loss.

So with Noise Action Week taking place from May 19th to 24th, I thought it might be timely to take a closer look at just how noisy the world really is.

Noise in the workplace is a particular problem for many people maybe not so much in a general office like ours here at Henshalls (although if we’re all on the phone at the same time it can be challenging!) but in a more industrial setting it can be very dangerous.

Hearing damage in this kind of instance is usually gradual with employees exposed to noise over a long period of time. But it can also be caused by sudden, extremely loud noises.

This damage is not only worrying in the longer term, it can also make it difficult for staff to communicate and make warnings harder to hear, which of course leads to safety risks.

So what can you do about it?

Well the good news is there are often practical, cost-effective ways to solve your problems.

Think about how to remove the source of the noise altogether could you move a noisy machine to a part of the building where it can’t be heard by your staff?

If not, consider using quieter equipment or look at technical controls to reduce the noise levels on machinery. Or use screen, barriers, enclosures and absorbent materials to reduce the noise before it reaches the people who are affected.

Consider  personal hearing protection but only after you’ve made every effort to reduce the noise levels by other means, as it’s not acceptable to just give everyone ear protectors and do nothing.

So thanks for listening if you’ve got any questions, give me a shout but better make it a loud one!

Tony Conlon

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