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Understanding the Negative Effects of Excessive Jobsite Noise

Posted by Echo Barrier on May 3, 2023 1:35:01 AM | Noise Barriers Acoustic Barriers Noise Reduction Construction Related acoustic barrier products

Experts say that 74 percent of workers face dangerous levels of noise in the workplace. High noise levels can damage hearing and cause distractions that lead to accidents. To protect yourself and your workers you need to understand all the negative issues associated with excessive noise and the preventive measures that can be put in place. 

Why Noise is a Problem in the Workplace 

Noise can cause hearing damage and impact your ability to perceive danger. Due to this danger, noise levels are controlled by worker health regulations. In some cases, there are also noise level ordinances and regulations that need to be followed, depending on your city or state. 

Here's how noise can impact you and your employees on the job. 

Noise Causes Hearing Loss 

Exposure to loud, harmful noise on the jobsite can cause Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). This condition can affect people of all ages and may be either temporary or permanent. A single exposure to loud noise can cause immediate hearing loss and symptoms may accumulate over several years. It is important for employers to recognize hazardous noise levels and take precautions to prevent long-term damage. 

Noise Levels Are Restricted 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established specific legal limits on noise exposure in the workplace to protect workers from the harmful effects of excessive noise. These limits are based on a worker's exposure over an 8-hour workday. Employers must take measures to ensure that their workers are not exposed to noise levels above 90 dBA for longer than 8 hours a day. 


Noise Creates Stress 

Loud noises can trigger responses like increased stress-related hormone levels, hypertension, blood pressure spikes and heart rate spikes. Ongoing exposure to stressful noises in the workplace can eventually cause problems like stroke and heart disease, as well as psychological and emotional problems like depression and anxiety. 

Noise Can Impact Cognition and Reduce Productivity 

Workers' psychological and physical state can suffer in a noisy environment. They may be unable to follow commands and instructions that result in dangerous errors. This can also impact worker productivity. 

Ongoing Effects of Noise 

Ultimately, the impact that noise can have on the health of employees and productivity levels can cause other problems for employers such as: 

  • hearing loss 
  • safety issues caused by distraction 
  • Increased worker absenteeism 
  • lost profits 
  • reduced employee motivation

What You Can Do to Mitigate Noise 

There are many steps employers can take to reduce noise in the workplace: 

  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The usage of hearing protection devices can decrease the amount of noise energy that enters the inner ear and leads to damage. Earplugs and earmuffs are two of the most commonly used personal protective equipment to prevent hearing loss. There are many other PPE items recommended or required for protection on construction sites, other than for noise control. 
  • Installation of acoustic barriers.Acoustic barriers are portable, easy-to-install solutions that help block sound in indoor (and outdoor) workplace environments. 
  • Installation of acoustic enclosures. Acoustic enclosures reduce noise levels in enclosed locations, and levels of hearing loss while providing a quieter, more peaceful work environment. 

Getting Started 

Controlling noise at worksites begins with a plan dedicated to health and safety. Once a manager or business owner has determined that there is a problem, then they can start investing in products that will keep their workers safe. 

Echo Barrier makes products that reduce noise levels to make sites as safe as possible and ensure that workers do not suffer from hearing loss. They also help you adhere to noise level regulations that protect workers and other people near the job site. For more information about Echo Barrier products, view our product listing or contact us. 

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