What is Industrial and Commercial Noise Mitigation?
Industrial noise may seem like it would just be an annoyance, but it is actually listed as an occupational hazard. Prolonged exposure to industrial noise can cause hearing loss and other health problems. OSHA estimates that 30 million workers every year are subjected to harmful industrial noise. Over the past 11 years, over 125,000 workers have lost their hearing due to this type of noise.
OSHA has strict regulations for noise control and limits time of exposure. Workers who are in environments where the sound level is 90dBA or above cannot exceed 8 hours per day of exposure. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is trying to lower this level to 85dBA, and in the meantime encourages industrial noise mitigation techniques in environments where the sound is near that level.
Noise control is vital because it can cause direct health problems in industrial workers, but it can also create secondary risks. Excessive noise can easily mask the sound of a forklift, other large vehicles, or warning alarms, therefore making it harder for workers to know if there is an emergency or impending dangerous situation. Prolonged industrial noise also has been shown to be detrimental to a person’s ability to concentrate. In most industrial jobs, concentration is critical.
With years of experience and technical know-how, Florida Engineering Solutions is prepared to provide practical and cost-effective solutions for commercial and industrial sound mitigation by using state-of-the-art designs and materials.
Commercial and Industrial Sound Control Plans
Industrial and Commercial sound control is essential for the successful completion of industrial and commercial projects. It is counter-productive to shut down or limit the use of a facility or activity because it is a hazard to employees or nuisance to neighbors. Taking these factors into account beforehand or during the design phase is optimum, but it may also be handled after operations have begun and sound control becomes an urgent matter. Florida Engineering Solutions can provide the analysis, design, and recommendations to provide effective mitigation for all industrial and commercial sound issues.
The main strategy when designing a noise mitigation plan is to first observe. In order to really understand all of the relationships and factors involved, it is necessary to have in-person observation and direct, on-site sound level monitoring. Every situation is different and has its’ own characteristics. When designing an industrial noise mitigation strategy, engineers and planners use sound absorbing materials in addition to sound isolation techniques. This is because industrial noise creates sound in both high and low frequency, and each type of sound has to be controlled with different methods. Engineers also need to have a specific target or goal of how much benefit (mitigation) to the impacted area or receptors is required or requested. They then isolate the source or sources that are creating the impact on the acoustical environment one is planning to provide mitigation for.
There are a wide variety of materials and approaches that can be employed to provide sound control, from vibration isolators for machinery, composite acoustical materials for barriers, absorptive acoustical insulation, adjusting the fan sizes and speeds for HVAC to simple precast walls and cement. There are many commonly used materials that are effective as well as highly specialized materials for specific acoustical applications.
Engineers often build custom plans that are industry or location specific in order to best reduce the particular noise that is generated within the work environment. Industrial noise control can be comprised of various elements like machine enclosures, sound dampening or absorbing panels, reverberation control, quiet rooms, wall blankets or foam, and other pre-assembled or custom-built structures.
The real goal of noise mitigation is to bring the operation or plant into compliance with the requirements of federal, state, and local rules and regulations while also improving the work place environment for the employees, and lessening the impact on the surrounding environment.