Industrial acoustics includes manufacturing, refining, quarry operations and power generation amongst others. Industrial noise may also cause problems with people in the surrounding vicinity even though noise levels may appear to be addressed on site.
Industry tends to generate excessive amounts of noise due to the processes required as part of the manufacturing process, such as:
– Repetitive noise from a machine process
– Noise generated as part of producing energy
– Plant noise from machinery used for extracting materials or products
– Impact noise from vehicles moving stillages and pallets
Within an industrial site the main focus would be environmental noise (BS 4142) and complying with the Noise at Work Act.
The main consideration is always to eliminate the noise source to ensure that any additional measures are not required to be implemented. Where elimination is not possible then mitigation is required to lower the noise levels to within acceptable limits. As a final precaution to protect employees, and where elimination or mitigation is insufficient then appropriate hearing protection may be used.
Replacing worn machinery or investing in new modern plant is an easy, but costly way, of reducing noise levels. New machinery should comply with current noise regulations or have technical data stating noise levels generated. Fitting acoustic enclosures over equipment or placing barriers around the perimeter of noisy operations allows for the noise to be mitigated and controlled.
Alternatively it could be a s simple as limiting operations or vehicle movement to set periods, if possible, to limit the noise levels to non-sensitive periods of time for local residents.
Meeting standards for industrial operations
Industrial applications are not governed by specific standards as in Education or Healthcare as a result of the diverse nature of this sector. The guidance required to be followed may vary depending on the operations taking place, but the following may apply to any site:
BS 4142:2014 is used to rate and assess industrial and commercial sound. An assessment is required by the Planning Authority for new developments and it can also be utilised to assess the sound levels for any issues or concerns that have been raised.
BS 8233:2014 provides guidance for the control of noise in and around buildings and helps to define what is considered acceptable in different environments.
Noise at Work is an important factor in acoustics given that compliance with the Health and Safety at Work Act (Noise at Work Act 2005) is mandatory. It is an employer’s duty to ensure that where noise cannot be reduced to acceptable levels (over the period of exposure required) relevant control measures are introduced to reduce the risk to acceptable and manageable levels.
How we can help
New Build – From a BS 4142 Environmental Noise Assessment to satisfy planning requirements to assisting with the design of specialist elements of the building to contain known noise sources
Refurbishment – We can provide design assistance for all your requirements to ensure your refurbishment meets the required acoustic standards
Noise at Work – We can undertake surveys and provide reports to ensure your business complies with Noise at Work regulations
New Plant and Machinery – Assessments and guidance is available to ensure any machinery to be installed, or plant to be introduced on to the site will not have a detrimental effect on your operation
Quarries and open sites – Undertake Environmental Noise Assessments to ensure existing and planned works do not contravene local planning requirements.
Need help with acoustics in an Industrial application?
From Noise at Work, machinery noise levels and noise emissions to the surrounding environment.