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