Workplace Noise Pollution

As can be seen from a recent issue of
The Business Online Magazine, noise pollution is one of the biggest unrecognized hazards at work. This hazard is not experienced by every worker, but as the article points out, there were 45,000 claims for industrial deafness in the U.K. during 1994. Farm workers are especially vulnerable to chronic noise pollutionoise as seen in this article detailing those hazards and solutions. (Also, see this document on the CDC web page.)

Beyond the obvious danger to hearing from chronic noise pollution at work, healthcare practitioner, workers, employers and insurers should understand that noise at levels below what can cause ear damage can produce physical & psychological stress which, in turn, can contribute to many other health problems.

The interesting thing about workplace noise is that, after a while, it can seem so "normal" that you might not even recognize it unless the noise suddenly stops. If there is a sudden cessation of the noise, you may notice the huge difference in the atmosphere. Sources of excess workplace noise can include machinary, traffic, vibrating computer or other equipment, music, etc.

The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse can help you with solutions to workplace noise. Please don't forget to check their Related Sites page for information on the "quiet" mailing list and other excellent web pages. Please keep in mind that workplace noise is not limited to industrial equipment. Sometimes putting a pad under electrical equipment that is vibrating can eliminate a stress-producing, low-level buzz considerably.

Finally, please see the selection of noise protection companies for products that help with noise reduction and protection from excess noise.