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Reducing the Harmful Impact of Noise Within the Work Environment

There are many potential dangers within the modern workplace. While physical hazards certainly exist, one of the most overlooked variables centres around noise. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) clearly points out that excess noise can lead to several unwelcome outcomes. Current regulations state that workers must be subject to no more than 85 decibels in terms of average exposure and the maximum allowable level during any given time is 87 decibels (1). Much of this noise will often be generated by machinery. Thanks to a product known as Flexiwall , Westgate can help to reduce noise from such machinery. What are some of the impacts of high decibel levels and how can this product help?

Noise in the Workplace: Potential Dangers

The main danger of loud noises is that employees will develop a ringing in the ears over time known as tinnitus. This is a very real medical condition and in some cases, it is irreversible. However, this is not the only issue to address. A very loud work area can make it nearly impossible to hear alerts from supervisors, audible alarms and warnings for other co-workers. When we consider that such hindrances can sometimes lead to dangerous scenarios (such as when working with moving parts within a lathe), these concerns become quite clear.

Flexiwall: The Science Behind the Product

Flexiwall is a modular system comprised of proprietary materials that are pressed together in order to form a single sheet. It is specifically designed to lessen the impact of machine-generated noise; offering reduction levels of up to 30 decibels. This system can be placed around equipment or used as an additional barrier within the work environment. Some examples include:

  • The periphery of large devices such as CNC machines, break presses and saws.
  • On either side of corridors utilised by workers.
  • Barriers between the workshop and an office environment.

Such enclosures represent effective and economical options when noise levels are at or near the limits stated by the HSE. However, Flexiwall is just as appropriate within any location where excess noise needs to be mitigated to a certain point.

The Safe Modular Edge

One of the reasons why this product proves to be very popular involves its modular capacity. In other words, the entire system can be designed around specific dimensions and building profiles. Installation is quick, clean and non-disruptive.  When compared to traditional partitioning methods, there is much less dust and mess produced during installation. This can be a key concern when working within environments that must maintain a high degree of cleanliness. Panels are 60 minute fire rated and meet existing safety codes. Finally, each partition can be quickly moved should needs change in the future.

An Additional Step Towards Noise Reduction

To be clear, Westgate recommend that Flexiwall for Noise Reduction be employed alongside other recommended PPA. This will provide the ultimate level of safety for all employees.

Notwithstanding these benefits, we are pleased to offer other amenities such as the addition of logos, specific colours or corporate branding to these walls. If you would like to learn more, please feel free to download an in-depth brochure or to speak with one of our representatives. Noise reduction has now become a reality thanks to this turnkey solution.

1. http://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/regulations.htm

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