Everything from hearing loss and tinnitus to hypertension and sleep disturbance have been linked to levels of noise hazardous to the human ear – sometimes at lower levels than you might imagine. Hair cells in the ear, repeatedly bashed by excessive sound waves, essentially dissolve under the pressure over time. Hair cells that are destroyed do not grow back and cannot be replaced, making our hearing a very precious resource indeed. Manufacturers have several options when it comes to worker’s safety and hearing.
Personal Protective Equipment. Workers have access to a variety of personal protective equipment, from earplugs to apps that measure noise levels. The challenge, of course, is ensuring that workers utilize the PPEs available. Younger workers in particular tend to underestimate the hazards of noise and must be trained to properly use equipment. The damage isn’t seen until 15 – 20 years later.
Upgrading Equipment. If a needed piece of equipment must be purchased, then safety needs to be just as important as productivity. The manufacturing floor can be quite noisy, so whenever there is a chance to go with products that reduce noise and vibration, it can only have a cumulative positive effect on the noise levels workers are exposed to.
Because noise is cumulative, meaning that even lower sounds can add up over time, it is important to reduce exposure to it where and when we can. This can mean ensuring workers have earplugs and other devices to reduce noise exposure as well as seeing what we can do to eliminate ear loss related to working on the machines themselves. Noise causes more than just hearing loss. It can also affect concentration and even increase the risk of a heart attack.
If you want to discuss how to upgrade your equipment, heaters, mixers, why not work with Komax? Our equipment provides a dramatic reduction of both noise and vibration, leading to a healthier workplace while also improving your energy savings and efficiency!