This is to inform you that as the office of health safety and well-being, a research and report on noise control has been conducted and finalized. This report covers introductory part of the issue in context, noise risk assessment, and the control strategies.
The reason for the compilation of the report is to provide a reference for future restructuring and efficient management of the workshop and reduce noise effects. This report operates as a fundamental tool that helps in risk assessment and noise control strategies.
Even though the changes can be hard to achieve at the start, it is necessary to incorporate them into the management process and procedures. Failure to initiate some of the recommendations will result in increased health complications to the workers and the success of the workshop as a whole.
Kindly advice on the report findings and recommendations
Health Safety and Wellbeing Manager
The conventional methods of noise assessment used in industrial workplaces did not provide detailed information. It depends on sound pressure level measurement result expressed numerically and showed harmful areas. The report has proposed another exposure assessment methodology of occupational noise that is based on Fuzzy sets. The Fuzzy logic includes the primary investigation of the workplace, the input and output variables, fuzzy rules and Defuzzification. RAW Workshop is a wood workshop operating various machines such as joiners, chain saw; Jig saw, electric drills, electric plane, rotary tool, router and Sanders among machines which produce a lot of noise. Statistically, employees who previously worked for more than 10 years at the workshop have reported the noise induced hearing loss and are in search for compensation. Employees are often protected from the long term effects of the damage when working (8 hours) by keeping the exposure around the 85 decibels (dB)(A) threshold, but this noise has become more intense, causing significant health effect on a short term effect. For this reason, the short term control strategies include a change of gear type, reducing tooth gear and Change of gear drive housing. The medium control strategies include dumping and isolation of the sound waves while long term implementation constitutes the implementation of legal frameworks that include setting up of a common threshold.
A social and economic aspect of a working environment constitutes a considerable component of attention since the primary objective of any organization is to produce quality goods and services. Minimum or no attention has been shown to the importance of work to the workers, yet it is clear that work plays an important and perhaps unparalleled mental role in the formation of self-esteem and the sense of order in a given organization setting. Work has over the years provided a powerful force in shaping people's sense of identity and can lend vitality to the creation and establishment of cyclical patterns on a daily, weekly and a monthly basis. It is said that work without an economic gain also contributes to personal gratification (Dragicevic, Guerrero & Vasquez, 2014). Ideally, there exists a progressive two-way interaction between the workers and the psychological and physical environment. The working environment can influence health in a positive and negative, hence the productivity of an individual in the organization. When the working environment is well adjusted and productive, some sense of satisfaction is created which can otherwise promote health promotion. The disabled employees in the organization can be rehabilitated through participating in activities suitable to their physical and mental limitations and increase their working capacity. On the other side, the fact that working can help enhance positive influence on health is yet to be fully exploited. Of importance to this report is to assess issues associated with the identification, prevention, and control of physical agent exposure in relation to noise pollution.
RAW Workshop is a wood workshop operating various machines such as joiners, chain saw; Jig saw, electric drills, electric plane, rotary tool, router and Sanders among machines which produce a lot of noise. People within the organization respond differently to noise and the exact level at which it causes damage is not certain in each person. However, the amount of damage caused by this noise depends on the overall amount of energy received and every employee's susceptibility to hearing loss (Fiedler & Zannin, 2015). Employees are often protected from the long term effects of the damage when working (8 hours) by keeping the exposure around the 85 decibels (dB)(A) threshold, but this noise has become more intense, causing significant health effect on a short term effect. Impulse or increased sudden noise level from these machines in excess of the peak exposure standard of 140 dB(C) is hazardous and can cause an immediate hearing damage (Hammer, Swinburn & Neitzel, 2014). It is unfortunate that the sufferer fails to realize their hearing, but the loss tends to be gradual. Some of the effects of the sounds produced by the machinery like tinnitus develop quicker. Tinnitus can be permanent in the ears and can be distressing, especially when it's quiet, like when trying to sleep.
Noise assessment at RAW Workshop can be done by the Fuzzy method which includes an investigation of the working environment, determination of input and output variables, and assessment of Fuzzy rules, Fuzzy inference method and Defuzzification. The methodology consist encompasses the assessment of noise level, number of those exposed, the duration and noise reverberation time (Aslam & Raja, 2015). The method has made it possible for the environmental impact assessors to evaluate some complex cases to assess the exposure risk further. The assessment result has been found useful and flexible in analysis process as compared to the conventional assessment. Fuzzy logic gives an opportunity to obtain risk model for the employees based on the noise parameters, the dimension of the working environment and the prevailing human perceptions (Kapp, Passmore & Schneider, 2014). Ideally, the exposure threshold of sound pressure level (SPL) is 85dB(A) for 8 hours every day and 44 hours every week. This level has been permitted by the environmental conservation organization and labor unions to judge the nature of any working environment in context. In this case, noise level of 85.5 dB is considered risk region and a noise level of 84.5 dB is considered caution region even though it differs only by 1 dB
variables Number variables values Fuzzy intervals
Input 1 Noise level Extra high
Low Above 90
2 Employees exposed in each(100m2) Many
Few Above 0.6
3 Time workers are exposed in every shift (h) Long
Short Above 4
4 Reverberation Duration (s) Long
Short Above 2
Output 5 Noise risk assessment Extremely High
Extremely low 0.9-1
Noise assessment using fuzzy methodology started during the twentieth century and had been applied extensively in other fields. In the last ten years, the logic has successfully been applied to various real world issues in the sectors of engineering and science. Currently, this method is accepted in industries and applies to ergonomic aspects like noise control and illustration. The concept is introduced in the assessment process to deal with systems that are way too complex or defined to be susceptible. In the earlier stage of the risk assessment process, the system variables, inputs, and output are determined and experts views collected through questionnaires and Delphi method which characterized the effective principal factors on the assessment process. As shown in the table above, the input variables involved the workers receive the noise levels in the wood workshop, the number of workers unprotected from the noise, over duration exposed, and reverberation length. The output variable involves the risk assessment of those exposed to the noise. The second step of the methodology was to assess the linguistic values within the system in the form of words and expressions. Fuzzy Delphi methodology is used to collect data and calculation, the membership functions and other parameters also given (Shamshirband et al., 2014). After controlling variables and the membership function, the next step involves the creation of rules of" if then." These are collected based on the perceptions of noise engineering experts in the organization. In the report, four inputs involving; Noise level, Employees exposed in each (100m2), Time workers are exposed in every shift (h) and Reverberation Duration (s). The results of the assessment show the effects of these inputs to the ultimate output.
From the conventional assessment methodology, noise exposure assessment often depended on sound pressure level evaluation results that were shown numerically and only shown harmful areas within the working environment (Fernandez-Camacho et al., 2015). The primary disadvantage of using these conventional methodologies in risk assessment is that only the parameters are interpreted. In an aim for mitigating such issues, Fuzzy assessment method has broadly discussed the variables of the system. The variables of the system have been fully put into consideration as opposed to the traditional evaluation methodology. This allows experts to easily estimate the unconsidered cases, providing model physical and technical parameters.
To understand various strategies that can be used to control noise levels, stakeholders and employees alike need to know some fundamentals. For a noise problem to exist, the source of noise must exist, a path that spreads the noise and the receiver of the noise which the intended strategy must incorporate to reduce the effects. Treating any of the elements or a combination of the three is the starting point for noise control and mitigation. Noise source like a sander can be made quieter by tuning it up. At the same time, a barrier can be strategically placed between the sender and the receiver in a way that the sound waves cannot propagate to the receiver. Ultimately, the receiver can be treated with ear plugs or using a headset to manage the effects of sound (Kletschkowski, 2012). Solutions in solving the noise issue often must be engineered to determine the most cost effective and safest methodology that gives a chance to production in the organization with minimum interference.
In case noise from gear drives at the wood, workshop reaches an excessive level; there is a need to conduct the test to isolate the location of excessive noise within the gear for the benefit of the employee and the overall production in the organization. Depending on the cause of the noise, there can be a number of repairs or alternation to resolve the problem causing noise amicably. A significant case of noises from gears comes from the interaction between the engaging gears which then produce vibration. Even though the performance can restrict the available strategies for minimizing noise gear noise, there are others that may be worth investigating (Konstantin & Granichin, 2016). It is essential to consult gear drive technicians, therefore, to assess whether any of these can provide a viable solution to the noise...
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