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The pain and cost of noise pollution.

In industrial settings, noise is not just unpleasant, it can be a major source of expense and lost productivity.
Noise-induced hearing loss can lead to higher worker compensation claims and higher insurance costs.

Excessive noise can interfere with communications between supervisors and employees. And continuous exposure to noise can cause fatigue, which often results in accidents and reduces the peace and quality of work.

In Preventing Occupational Hearing Loss: A Practical Guide, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) discusses several strategies for dealing with workplace noise. Summarized, they include: 1) prevent or contain the escape of the hazardous workplace agent (in this case, noise) at its source, and 2) control the exposure with barriers between the worker and the hazard.

These strategies call for noise control products from ASI, Inc. such as our SONEX Panels, Baffles and Enclosures that can absorb or contain noise in virtually any setting.

The workplace is not the only place where noise can be hazardous or, at the very least, counterproductive. High sound levels and reverberation are common problems in non-industrial settings such as gymnasiums, auditoriums, cafeterias, multipurpose rooms, churches and other large public spaces. In such environments, uncontrolled sound can interfere with a room’s intended purpose, hamper interpersonal communications and result in fatigue and headaches.

Point-source noise vs. overall noise

Unwanted noise comes in more than one variety

Point-source noise is audible kinetic energy that can be traced to specific devices such as industrial machines, pumps, blowers and generators.

Overall noise is uncontrolled sound that has no single identifiable source: e.g., noise from conversation, tools and smaller machines located throughout the plant.

To make matters more complicated, the frequency of noise can affect human beings in different ways. Fatigue and nausea often result from low-frequency vibration, while high frequencies are likely to cause pain and hearing loss.

Finally, reverberation can hamper communications and contribute to higher noise levels. Reverberation is cause by the reflection of sound waves from hard surfaces, as often experienced in gymnasiums.