At some time during their career over 25% of industrial workers have been exposed to dangerous noise levels in their place of work.
This has left around 12% of all workers with difficulty hearing and another 8% suffering from tinnitus. This condition causes a persistent, irritating ringing in the ears.
Despite this most workers prefer not to wear hearing protection devices. They say they are uncomfortable and prevent them from hearing their colleague’s instructions.
Noise pollution is not something that can be overlooked in the manufacturing or construction industries. Especially when the use of an acoustic blanket or shield can dampen the effect on your equipment.
Acoustic Blankets Can Help Reduce Workplace Hearing Damage
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets a limit of 90dBA for the standard work environments. Yet, construction sites and manufacturing plants exceed them daily.
Hearing loss will occur with prolonged exposure to 85dBA levels of noise, like what you may experience on a busy city street.
Good acoustic blankets or shields can reduce excessive noise by up to 15dBA.
Incorrect use of protective gear will cause workplace injuries which can lead to lengthy lawsuits for the company.
A simple improvement such as quality acoustic shielding can help improve the work environment.
What to Consider When Purchasing?
Acoustic shielding will prevent excessive noises from industrial equipment through absorption and reflection.
When purchasing a blanket you need to consider the following:
- the level of noise reduction you want
- what type of equipment you will be shielding.
Acoustic blanket manufacturers, like Shannon, make blankets that fit most types of heavy industrial equipment.
Speak with a professional supplier to understand your specific needs as not all acoustic blankets are made the same
A good insulating shield will not only reduce sound levels but also some excess heat produced by machinery. This will also improve your workplace environment.
They should also be flexible for ease of install and breathable. This will help reduce corrosion, a major problem with long-term insulation.
Corrosion will occur under insulation when water is able to become trapped between the shield and the equipment. This will enable fungus to grow and will lead to water damage and corrosion of the machine.
Left untreated for any length of time this will cause major damage and need expensive repairs or replacement of equipment.
Ensure your acoustic blanket material is hydrophobic and made to keep water out but the sound in.
Ease of Removal
Industrial equipment needs to be maintained on a regular basis to ensure the smooth running of the device. You need to make sure that the acoustic blanket is both easy to install and remove. Protecting your equipment is paramount.
Blankets and machines can become damaged during the removal process making them unusable. Also, leaving you with a hefty replacement charge.
Keep Your Work Environment Safe
With the right kind of acoustic blanket installed you can make a real difference to the comfort levels of your workplace. This simple change will ensure your employees and safer and happier in their jobs.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider reading one of the other Industrial blogs on our site.