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Noise in the workplace WH Kelly Ltd Greg Gillard Injury Prevention Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "Noise in the workplace WH Kelly Ltd Greg Gillard Injury Prevention Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Noise in the workplace WH Kelly Ltd Greg Gillard Injury Prevention Consultant

2 Noise Reactions and emotions that we associate with: –Screeching tyres –Breaking glass –Mr. Whippy –Dentist drill –Music

3 Noise and Acoustics Noise-induced Hearing Loss –Causes no pain –Causes no visible trauma –Leaves no visible scars –Is unnoticeable in its earliest stages –Accumulates with each over-exposure –Takes years to diagnose –Is permanent and almost always preventable

4 How We Hear Nerve cells in the cochlea are tuned to specific frequencies Base of the cochlea is sensitive to high frequency sounds Tip of the cochlea is sensitive to low frequency (bass/deep) sounds

5 Exposure 17-year old girl Low noise exposure Normal cochlea Receptors intact 76-year old man Low noise exposure Fewer receptors but still intact 59-year old man High noise exposure Damaged cochlea Receptors destroyed

6 Safe Noise Levels Low noise Normal cochlea At safe noise levels, sound waves move along the cochlea without damaging receptor cells

7 Loud Noise Levels Loud noise levels damage the first turn of cochlea High noise Damaged cochlea High Frequencies Damaged

8 Noise And Acoustics If you must RAISE YOUR VOICE TO BE UNDERSTOOD over the background noise when standing about 1 metre away from somebody that background noise is hazardous

9 How often do we see this?

10 Noise EquipmentDecibelsTime Limit –Power drill884 hours –Heavy truck912 hours –Lawnmower941 hour –Power saw9730 mins –Pneumatic drill10015 mins –Concrete saw1038 mins –Loud stereo1064 mins –Commercial jet1092 mins –Trail bike1121 mins –Chainsaw11530 secs –Powder Powered Tools140hearing damage

11 Hazardous noise exposures are cumulative Work Home NOISE AND ACOUSTICS

12 Controlling Noise How can you control your exposure to dangerous levels of noise? –Use the control hierarchy – eliminate, isolate, minimise –Remove plant from the immediate work area –Isolate using soundproofing, do the job at time when others are not in the work area –Use new technology that is quieter –As a last resort minimise using PPE – ear muffs and plugs

13 Controlling Noise Ear Muffs and Ear Plugs –Minimise your exposure to damaging noise levels –Classified 1-5 by the amount of noise reduction they provide –It can be dangerous to have too much or too little protection –Many different types and varieties to suit individuals

14 Controlling Noise Ear Muffs –Must give you a good seal around the outer ear –Must be worn directly over the ear –Remove hair from around the muffs –Don’t wear over hoodies

15 Fitting Ear Plugs 1. Roll entire earplug into a crease-free cylinder 2. Pull Back pinna by reaching over head with free hand, gently pull top of ear up and out 3. Insert earplug well into ear canal and hold until it fully expands

16 Which ear is protected? 1 23

17 And so the problem grows…..

18 For more info………. ACC website Department of Labour website www.


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