How to deal with Noise related issues

How to deal with Noise Related Issues in Food and Beverage Industries of Myanmar?

Source – SUSTENT Consulting Pvt. Ltd

Establishing Policy for Noise Pollution Control

The management of an enterprise can display their commitment towards noise control by establishing an noise control policy statement, which may be part of the environment policy or as a stand-alone noise control policy. This policy must align with the purpose of the organization. It must contain a framework for establishing objectives and targets. The policy must be reviewed/ updated after the monitoring. Things you should consider while developing an policy are:

  • The policy must be in context of your organization and must convey a sense of direction and principles for implementing actions
  • It must help to fulfil legal and regulatory requirements and contractual obligations
  • It must convey the organization’s commitment to take noise control measures for better health of workers
  • It must display the management’s commitment to ensure the availability of the information and resources necessary to achieve objectives and targets

6.3 Identification of the Predominant Sources of Noise Generation

  • Common sources of noise generation in food and beverage facilities include Machineries used for food preparation such as peelers, slicers, cutters
  • Conveyor belts (used to carry raw material and products).
  • Fans and blowers, motors, boilers, refrigerators, and other equipment used in food and beverage facility for storage and processing activities.
  • During leakages from steam valves and pipelines,
  • Use of old and noisy equipment.
  • Heavy vehicles used for transportation of raw material and food products.

6.4 Description of Sound Level Measuring Instruments

Sound Level Meters

  • Primary tool for noise measurement that is used for acoustic measurements.
  • Here, the electrical signal from the transducer is fed to the pre-amplifier of the sound level meter and, if needed, a weighted filter over a specified range of frequencies.
  • Further amplification prepares the signal either for output to other instruments such as a tape recorder or for rectification and direct reading on the meter.

 Apart from this primary tool of sound measuring instrument, other sound measuring instruments are also extensively used such as:

  • Frequency Analyser: It is used to assess the sensory impact of sound or vibration phenomena.
  • Noise Dosimeters: It is used ascertain the noise exposure of workers during their normal working day
  • Personal sound level meters: It is designed as dosimeters to be worn by the worker during his regular work

Figure 1: Sound Level Meter

Source: Open Source


6.5 Noise Control Measures to be adopted in F&B enterprises

Engineering Measures

  • Proper maintenance of equipment is required. Ensure properly tightening of the nuts and bolt to eliminate vibration.
  • Any leakage in the steam or compressed air pipelines should be rectified immediately as such leaks produces noise. This would also save loss of energy and help you reduce operating cost.
  • Wherever necessary use rubber pads to minimize the impact sound such as in crate washing section, milk packaging section etc. This would also increase the life of the cans and handling machinery.
  • While purchasing any new equipment, always give due consideration to its noise producing level. It should be minimum as for as possible.
  • In the high noise area such as refrigeration, boiler, packaging and receiving sections etc, the walls of the section should be covered with sound absorbers.
  • Replace the old and noisy equipment regularly.
  • Sound separator should be provided to isolate the high sound producing sections. Utilize enclosed booths designed to reduce exposure to noise.
  • Replace metal and glass components with plastics. Glass containers or cans’ striking each other, or metal surfaces creates a lot of noise.
  • Use DG set with acoustic enclosure to reduce the generation of noise.

Figure -2 Rubber pads and Acoustic Soundproof Pyramids for Sound absorption

Figure 3: Acoustic Enclosure for DG Sets

Source: Open Source

Administrative measures

  • Limit the number of workers assigned to noisy tasks.
  • Make time schedule for workers to minimize their time in a noisy environment.
  • Try to use compatible materials for noise control such as stainless steel and certain plastics like Teflon, PVC, etc.
  • Managers and supervisors should also wear hearing protection devices along with production workers.
  • Appreciation should be given to those sections of workers where noise level is reduced considerably than that of last year.
  • If possible, conduct ‘noise audit’ should also along with energy audit.
  • Encouragement should be given to form a cadre who learns by experience about noise control measures

General Measures

  • Exterior of equipment must be easily cleaned and not retain soil or wash water so that it won’t make noise during operation
  • Supply correct noise attenuating refuges (noise protection equipment) like ear plug etc.
  • Ensure that noise protection equipment is used properly.
  • Often companies that perform hearing tests (audiometry) also provide individual worker training and have a wide range of hearing protection devices. It is to be noted that, the best hearing protection is the one that the worker will wear.