Military operations and training involve a wide variety of sources of industrial noise, all of which can be hazardous to the hearing health of personnel if adequate hearing protection measures are not taken.
From the roar of aircraft engines to the thunderous boom of artillery fire and explosions, the noise generated by these activities can reach very high levels – and pose a significant risk to the hearing of military personnel.
Protecting the hearing health of defence force personnel is crucial, given the significant risks associated with industrial noise exposure. Defence forces need to implement strict regulations and guidelines to minimise noise exposure and provide appropriate hearing protection equipment.
Thankfully, technological advances have made it possible to develop better hearing protection equipment, which is essential in protecting the hearing health of defence force personnel.
ADF personnel are exposed to a range of sources of industrial noise, which are necessary for military operations and training. Some of the most common sources of industrial noise include:
Aircraft engines: Military aircraft are often equipped with powerful engines that generate significant noise levels during take-off, landing, and in-flight manoeuvres. This noise can reach up to 140 decibels, a level which is well above the safe limit for human exposure.
Artillery fire and explosions: These sources produce noise levels that can cause permanent hearing loss with just one exposure. Even with ear protection, the noise can still exceed safe exposure levels and cause damage to personnel’s hearing.
Gunfire: Whether it’s from rifles, machine guns, or other firearms, gunfire generates high-intensity noise that can cause hearing damage if protective measures are not taken.
Heavy machinery: Military vehicles, such as tanks and armoured personnel carriers, generate significant noise levels that can cause hearing damage.
Industrial noise is inherent in military operations and training, but it can be hazardous to the hearing health of defence force personnel if protective measures are not taken. This is why most defence forces have strict regulations and guidelines to minimise exposure to industrial noise and provide appropriate hearing protection equipment.
Earplugs and earmuffs are the most common hearing protection equipment defence force personnel use to reduce noise exposure levels. They work by blocking or reducing the noise level that enters the ear canal.
Engineering controls such as acoustic insulation and sound barriers work to reduce the noise levels generated by military activities. This type of control is particularly useful in limiting noise exposure to nearby communities.
Administrative controls include limiting the duration and intensity of noise exposure, scheduling noisy activities during periods of lower noise exposure, and providing regular hearing testing for personnel.
Technological advances have made it possible to develop better hearing protection equipment for defence force personnel. For example, active noise reduction (ANR) earmuffs, which work by cancelling out noise signals, have become more common in recent years. ANR earmuffs are particularly effective in reducing low-frequency noise levels, such as those generated by aircraft engines.
In addition, mobile phone apps that measure noise levels can help defence force personnel monitor their noise exposure levels and determine when they need to wear protective equipment.
Flexshield offers customised noise control solutions for the ADF that can help reduce noise exposure levels and protect the hearing health of personnel. Some of our recommended solutions include:
Acoustic enclosures are at-source noise control solutions that use a combination of products to reduce the noise of the equipment while protecting surrounding workers.
Sonic Acoustic walls reduce noise by strategically placing a soundproof barrier between the noise source and the receiver.
Sonic Curtains use sound barrier and noise absorption technology to help operators of noise equipment adhere to the government’s regulated decibel limits.
At Flexshield, we understand the importance of protecting the hearing health of defence force personnel. That’s why we offer customised noise control solutions designed to suit the unique requirements of the defence industry.
Our customised noise control solutions, such as acoustic enclosures, sonic acoustic walls, and sonic curtains, help to reduce noise levels and protect defence force personnel from excessive noise exposure.