Noise in the Workplace

Machinery, people and the environment all contribute to noise at work.

Machinery, like copiers, printers, fax machines, fans, air conditioner, computers, telephones and a number of other kinds of specialized equipment are a source of noise at work. People, added to the aforementioned by speaking, typing, moving around and moving things around in doing their job are another cause of noise at work.

The environment also contributes to the sound by reflecting and amplifying sound off of hard surfaces such as walls, ceilings or windows. Vehicular traffic noise and other worksites nearby also increase the din.

The Truth:
Machinery sound is low frequency. Low frequency sound can cause reduced efficiency and also make us sick. With time, it may do damage to internal organs, even if the amplitude is large enough. Sometimes, noise problems in air conditioning or air conditioning ductwork can cause the illness rate to soar.

People sound is typically a greater frequency. Based on the pitch and volume, this can at times be extremely annoying. The louder others get, the louder we get – putting off an out of control spiral of sound.

Add to the the surroundings – box like ceilings, walls and windows. The noises just get louder and louder by reflecting off the hard surfaces. This creates more illness, annoyance and reduced efficacy.

The Solution:
Reduce or eliminate the noise, either in the origin or after the Truth.

It would be tough to get rid of people and run a business. Usually, there’s little we can do to minimize the sound that machines make.

There are lots of ways to accomplish noise reduction. The best, or class, is to create the structure with noise reduction in mind. Short of this, we could do a lot to make it simpler.

There are three major methods of sound control and reduction:
– Masking is using sound to cover up the unwanted or annoying sound.
– Absorption is using noise cancelling or sound energy conversion material to reduce noise.
– Deflection is using sound reflective material to direct the surplus sound away.