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Tuesday, 24 September 2019 08:09

The risks of noise in the workplace

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Noise is one of the multiple occupational hazards to prevent. Some workers as builders suffer more from all kind of loud sounds, which can deteriorate people's health.

 

A JSA (Job Safety Analysis) plan will be useful to limit risks and establish sufficient measures to prevent them. Therefore, it is convenient to know how loud sounds affect people.

 

The risks of noise

The time a person is exposed to a sound and how intense it is will define the risks to which a person is endangered. Health and safety of workers are endangered in noisy environments. The most common risk is loss of hearing. The inner ear may be damaged and its effectiveness can decrease.

 

In addition, stress will increase as a result of a loud and continuous sound, even when the level is very low. Also blood pressure is elevated and as a result the risks of cardiovascular diseases increase.

 

Finally, the ability to concentrate decreases and communication between people is impaired. This will increase occupational accidents.

 

Main Consequences

The first one is progressive hearing loss, which can result in deafness. A short exposure to loud sounds causes a temporary loss, which can last for hours or days; however, if time and intensity are lengthened, the loss will be irreversible. In addition, stress on the staff increases, this can result in irritability, insomnia, memory loss and concentration difficulties.

 

Also, as already said, communications are hindered. In industrial or construction jobs, the risk of serious or fatal accidents will increase. To avoid this it is possible to establish preventive measures.

 

Recommended preventive measures for a JSA

Performing a noise assessment is essential; because the main sources of noise it will be discovered. Once identified it is advisable to eliminate or mitigate them as much as possible.

 

Reducing workers exposure and providing protective equipment, such as earmuffs or earplugs, are other preventive measures, although they only postpone the appearance of problems.

 

Full training should also be given to the entire workforce. Thus, they will know how to deal with excessive sounds and reduce exposure to them. Finally, the measures have to be monitored and reviewed to evaluate their effectiveness and to make the appropriate adjustments if necessary.

 

Final thoughts for JSA

Noise should be reduced in the workspace to tolerable levels. Otherwise, the workforce’s health and performance will be endangered. Luckily, it is possible to take preventive and corrective measures to avoid greater dangers.

 

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