Noise is any loud, obnoxious, undesirable or unanticipated sound. Noise is a hazard and increases risks in any workplace. For most people, noisy workplaces make life unbearable since many hours of one’s day are spent in the work environment. This therefore necessitates the process of risk assessments.
This involves quantifying and qualifying the value of risk in relation to existent hazards. Workplace risk assessments involve pointing out existing hazards and people who could be potentially harmed by them, appraising the risks, installing precautionary measures, documenting the findings and continuously monitoring the evaluation. Since it involves looking at detailed aspects of entities, risk assessment can be used to gauge business performance.
Measuring risks and the methods for mitigating them is fundamental to gauging business performance. Employee health is used as a metric for measuring business performance. High performance in business is reflected by systematic risk assessment procedures and high level preventive or solution based measures to control risks.
The first step in conducting a risk assessment with regard to noise is to find out whether the sounds that dominate the workplace are classified as harmful noise or not. This evaluation should be carried out by an expert. After that the risks inherent are identified. The daily lower exposure value for noise is 80 decibels with the upper value being 85dB. The law prohibits daily exposure beyond 87dB.
Noise creates risks to the health of those subjected to it; it can cause both temporal deafness and permanent damage to hearing whilst high vibrations caused by noise can ruin the sense of touch. Since it is hard to pass a message in a noisy work place, the loud shouting can be damaging to your vocal chords. A constant ringing in one’s ear dubbed Tinnitus can also occur. Extremely loud noises like explosions can cause instantaneous damage to hearing. Concentration on tasks is impaired by the existence of noise.
Steps should then be taken to mitigate the risks. Lower values can be handled by training on reduction of the risks, reduction or eradication of the noise from the source, purchase and maintenance of protective gear. The same can be applied for upper value exposure levels though more stringent. Areas beyond which a person might need protection should be visibly marked. Each employee should be provided with a protective gear. Strict regulation should be introduced instructing the mandatory wearing of protective gears.
Other popular control measures can be sought depending on the organization. Machinery can be scrutinized for acceptable noise levels before any purchase is done. The institution can install noise preventing obstructions or sound absorbers. Time spent in high noise range areas can be limited. Anti vibration mounts can be placed on machines prone to vibrations. Although hearing protection in form of ear muffs or plugs is a good measure, it should only be used temporarily or as a last resort where all other options have proved impossible.
As a means of monitoring how well the controls put in place perform, the employees should be subjected to regular hearing checks. Any negative feedback that leads to the conclusion that the controls have done little to mitigate risks will necessitate the process of assessment from scratch.
How Risk Assessments is Simple
Business performance can be gauged using the quantity of value created, cost cutting and risk mitigation. When you assess the risks caused by noise, you can plan and put across measures that will prevent these risks from occurring. In the long run, this will improve the value created. You will have invested in the health of your employees. The new noise free environment will boost productivity which will in turn increase the quality and quantity of value created.
Risk mitigation will also help you avoid legal costs you would have incurred had you been sued for crossing the sound limits. They will reduce the medical costs your organization would have paid for affected employees. This boosts the performance of a business thus higher profits.
Generally, a business with a solid risk controlling system is set for a successful path. Because the process is interactive, much will be learnt about the entity while the assessment is being carried out. This information is helpful in improving productivity. Risk assessment is therefore a key gauge of business performance.