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Minimising Industrial Noise in your Business

How acoustic louvres and enclosures help reduce NIHL Hearing loss...

How acoustic louvres and enclosures help reduce NIHL

Hearing loss due to industrial noise is one of Australia’s most claimed workplace injuries. According to Safe Work Australia, there are approximately 4,700 claims made each year for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss – with manufacturing and construction being the most common industries to make applications for compensation.


How does industrial deafness occur?

Sound stimulates tiny hair-like cells in the inner ear, which send messages to the brain. Noise-induced hearing loss occurs because excessive noise damages those delicate hair cells.

Noise-induced hearing loss is incurable, and it worsens as noise exposure continues. That means minimising industrial noise should be the primary goal for managers.


How to minimise industrial noise

The most effective way to minimise industrial noise is to eliminate it. The next best solution is to reduce the noise by moving equipment away from employees with an extension cord, additional welding leads, or longer air hoses.

Yet for most industrial businesses, elimination and reduction via relocation is simply not an option. Therefore, the best remaining solution is to apply engineered controls.


Acoustic enclosures

An effective engineered solution to reduce the noise emitted by plant or equipment is an acoustic enclosure.

Two acoustic enclosures are rarely the same. Each enclosure is made for an individual client and their exact needs. As its name suggests, an acoustic enclosure completely encloses the noisy industrial equipment, absorbing the noise emitted by the machine and creating a safer environment for staff.

Note that not all enclosures will reduce the noise of your machine. If you use the incorrect materials, you can actually enhance the sound of the device instead of limiting it.


Examples of using an acoustic enclosure to minimise industrial noise

Example 1: Acoustic enclosure for a card punch machine

Australian Paper needed a solution for their playing card punch machine, which made a noise that was unsafe for employees. Flexshield used V50 Sonic System, an acoustic vision panel and an acoustic door to create the ideal enclosure for Australian Paper.


Example 2: Noise control solution for Central Coast Council

Flexshield’s industrial noise control solution for Charmhaven Sewerage Treatment Plant combined a V50 Sonic System with a removable roof panel to allow for significant maintenance, along with a sonic curtain to allow for minor upkeep.


Acoustic louvres

An effective solution to quieten noisy plant equipment, acoustic louvres keep noise levels low without sacrificing ventilation. The louvres’ acoustic properties will absorb noise from the machines while allowing for airflow. This combination of acoustics and ventilation prevents machinery from overheating and creates a safe work environment for industrial employees.

Note: Not all louvres have acoustic properties. Acoustic louvre options include powder-coated outer consisting of either galvanised steel, aluminium or Colourbond with dense fibreglass wool on the inside. The louvre blades’ undersides have different sized perforations to absorb the sound emitted from the enclosed machine.


Examples of using acoustic louvres to reduce industrial noise

Example 1: Acoustic louvres provide noise reduction for hospital plant rooms

Flexshield Sonic 100 Series acoustic louvres for plant rooms were part of Minesco’s redevelopment of the Goulbourn Valley Health Shepparton Hospital. To maintain consistency across the facade, the architect requested both acoustic louvres and dummy louvres.

 Example 2: Aquatic Centre plant room quietened with acoustic louvres

McCorkell Constructions required acoustic louvres for the Club Jubilee One Aquatic Centre. To complete the project, Sonic 600, 300 and 150 series louvres were powder coated to the architect’s specification and delivered to site by Flexshield.

From the examples above, you can see that no two noise reduction projects are the same.


Contact Flexshield for acoustic enclosures and acoustic louvres

For more information about acoustic enclosures and acoustic louvres contact our expert team on 1300 799 969 or get in touch online.

We will continue to provide tips on how you can minimise industrial noise – such as using our acoustic door sets and temporary noise barriers.