Freedom to be loud

Why is it important to promote noise-free spaces to improve workplace well-being?

Why is it important to promote noise-free spaces to improve workplace well-being?

Without a doubt, humans are the the main resource that any company has. Providing employees with adequate working conditions is essential both to protect their health and promote their well-being, as well as to make them even more efficient in their daily work.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 22 million workers in the US are exposed to hazardous noise levels in their jobs and, according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition, after high blood pressure and arthritis. Therefore, it isn’t difficult to see why hearing loss is among the most common occupational diseases.

The data above shows that many workers are exposed for long periods to loud, repetitive or annoying noises for the ear, which translates over time into serious hearing damage. This is without taking into account many other negative effects that this can trigger on the health of the affected workers. According to NIOSH data, these conditions can also cause heart problems and cognitive or mental deterioration, even stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and depression.

In order to promote quiet spaces in industrial environments where noise is generally very strong and continuous, such as companies in the mining, construction, manufacturing, public services or transportation sectors; sound isolation booths have been developed for work spaces, an excellent solution for this problem.

Work well-being, an issue that is gaining more and more importance in companies

Company policies are increasingly promoting work environments that offer better conditions for their  employees. A survey of 166 organizations in the US, revealed that the investment of companies in wellness programs for their employees rose 22% in 2021, which represents about 6 million dollars on average for each company.  Companies are beginning to understand that it is much more profitable to invest in the mental health and emotional well-being of their staff, than what a sick worker can cost them.

The hearing health of workers is considered one of the aspects linked to their emotional well-being at the workplace. Subjecting the human ear to a work atmosphere that does not have healthy sound conditions, is clearly generating serious health problems for theworkers. Simultaneously, it’s a situation that directly affects the productivity of any company.

Today, companies in sectors such as mining, oil and gas extraction, construction, public services, transportation, among others, are considered the most exposed to loud environments for employees. For example, according to NIOSH data, operations engineers are exposed 77% of their work time to noise that exceeds the healthy limit of 85 decibels (dB); while construction workers do so during 73% of their work time.

Companies in these industries should be some of the most interested in implementing policies aimed at ensuring greater comfort for their workers, as well as working conditions that allow them to be more productive. Part of these policies are focused on conditioning work spaces, according to the needs of the workers and the tasks they must perform, in order to find a balance between productivity, health and well-being.

Use and implementation of acoustic booths

One of the solutions that has gained the most strength in recent years, is the use of acoustic booths in environments where noisy machinery is used or at industrial facilities. These work spaces use engineering controls, such as silencers or the construction of noise barriers, which are effective ways to prevent hearing loss induced by hazardous noise.

Acoustic booths are designed to minimize noise pollution that can be generated by excessive noise from machinery, power tools, exhaust systems, etc. In turn, the installation of these booths in any type of company helps to isolate the workspaces from loud and unpleasant noises. Therefore, they are perfect structures to create calm and suitable environments to carry out tasks that require concentration.

The manufacture of acoustic booths is tailored to each space. In turn, each modular structure can be installed in any area and is ideal for any type of industry or company where it’s necessary to control the noise produced by motors, compressors, electric generators, mills, presses, or any type of industrial machinery. But, at the same time, acoustic booths can be ideal for dental offices, audiology tests or, meeting rooms, to name a few examples.

In short, these soundproof spaces are essential elements to guarantee the well-being of workers in environments subject to excessive noise. And it can also be an alternative to other hearing protection instruments, such as the use of earplugs or earmuffs.

According to a WHO study, it is shown that investing in ear and hearing care is a cost-effective strategy, and that governments can earn up to 16 dollars for every dollar invested in these measures. This means that for companies it can also be very profitable to bet on hearing care for their workers, investing in protection solutions such as acoustic booths.

Are you thinking of installing an acoustic booth in your business? If so, at Studiobricks we can advise you on the solution that best suits the requirements of your workspaces and your team. We have predesigned acoustic booths and we can also customize our designs according to the space and soundproofing conditions you need. Contact us and we will gladly help you.