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Why We Need Acoustical Enclosure Buildings

In this day and age, large machinery and heavy equipment have become an essential part of the industrial workplace and our everyday life. The benefits of such equipment to the industrial world are certainly undeniable. However, machinery is also the main cause of workplace noise, which constitutes a major disturbance for both employees and the surrounding environment. To combat this problem, ITUS Global offers Acoustical Enclosure Buildings with custom acoustical treatment to fit any noise attenuation need. Such acoustical enclosures maximize employer productivity and safety by reducing harmful noise, and help ensure adherence to various environmental and workplace environments (e.g. OSHA).  

Here’s why you need this technology

  • With the increasing urbanization and industrialization taking place over the last decades, we are witnessing a progressive convergence of residential and industrial areas. This increasing industrial proximity has a negative effect on residential neighborhoods as it disturbs the environment in the form of disruptive noise pollution that may cause discomfort or even physical harm to the residents. Constant noise is proven to have a negative effect on people’s stress levels, blood pressure, sleep patterns, etc. These risks call for timely and adequate noise reduction measures on the industries’ behalf.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 22 million workers in the US alone are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. Exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing loss, which neither surgery nor a hearing aid can help correct. Short term exposure to loud noise can also cause a temporary change in hearing (your ears may feel stuffed up) or a ringing in your ears (tinnitus), and these problems may go away within a few minutes or hours after leaving the noise. However, repeated exposures to loud noise can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Loud noise can create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication and concentration, and contribute to workplace accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals. The effects of noise induced hearing loss can be profound, limiting your ability to hear high frequency sounds, understand speech, and seriously impairing your ability to communicate. It is therefore essential for a workplace to protect its employees from any short or long-term health consequences.
  • Lastly, it is an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirement that employers implement a hearing conservation program when noise exposure is at or above 85 decibels averaged over 8 working hours, or an 8-hourtime-weighted average (TWA). These programs strive to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing, and equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices necessary to safeguard themselves.

Estimating excessive noise levels

Noise is everywhere, but how loud does it need to be to cause harm? While people know that loud noise can be uncomfortable, many don’t know how long they can withstand it before it becomes harmful. CDC provides some guidelines that help assess excessive noise levels as follows:

  • Noise around 85 decibels (dBA) – which is loud enough that you must raise your voice to be heard by someone three feet away (arm’s length) – can damage your hearing after repeated exposures lasting 8 hours or more. Equipment, like printing presses and lawn mowers, and activities like vacuuming, or using earbuds or headphones with the volume set around 70%, all average about 85-90 dBA.
  • When noise reaches 95 dBA – which is loud enough that you must shout to be heard by someone at arm’s length – it can put your hearing at risk in less than an hour. Bulldozers, ambulance sirens, chain saws, bars/nightclubs and large sporting events are all louder than 95 dBA.

Noise may be a problem in your workplace if you hear ringing or humming in your ears when you leave work, have to shout in order to be heard by a coworker, or experience temporary hearing loss. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Sound Level Meter App is one tool available to the public to download on mobile iOS devices that measures sound levels in the workplace and provides noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss.

Solution

The range of solutions to the excessive noise differs by industry, and ranges from noise attenuation walls to providing employees with personal hearing protection. ITUS Global provides optimal solutions to industries – from refineries and pipelines to hospitals and cruise ships – wherever large equipment such as power generators and compressors are an inevitable part of operations. The level of required level of noise attenuation can also differ by industry, but the following are the most often encountered requirements:

  1. The most commonly used Industrial Noise Attenuation level of 80-85 dBA at 3 feet (1 meter) in free field;
  2. Following that is the Residential Noise Attenuation level of up to 65 dBA at 3 feet (1 meter) in free field. This can be further improved to achieve 55 dBA as 21 feet (7 meters) in free field

Our team designs and manufactures custom Acoustical Enclosure Buildings to meet any noise attenuation requirements. Utilizing applicable acoustical treatment such as silencers, mufflers, gravity dampers, our buildings will effectively achieve any required noise reduction level.

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ITUS Global Inc. is a Houston-based company that specializes in customized enclosure buildings designed to protect a wide range of large equipment. The company's services include design, engineering and manufacturing of enclosure buildings ranging from simple weather enclosures to highly specialized fire-rated enclosures, as well as turnkey solutions and full packaging inclusive of all E&I, HVAC and Fire Protection requirements.

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