Noise Reduction in Warehouse Operations

Noise Reduction in Warehouse Operations

Warehouse noise reductions allow your workers to operate without noise protection, enhancing their awareness of their surroundings. In an era when finding qualified labor becomes more difficult every day, warehouses and manufacturing facilities should look for every tool possible to keep their workers safe. One tool that is often overlooked yet provides meaningful protection is hearing protection.

Occupational hearing loss, a significant workplace ‘injury’ reported by the Centers for Disease Control, poses a grave risk to your workforce. Alarmingly, up to 40 percent of all transportation and warehousing employees have been exposed to hazardous noise, with most not wearing any form of hearing protection. The potential consequences, including cognitive decline and heart problems, underscore the urgent need to protect your employees’ hearing.

In addition to wanting to protect your staff’s hearing, there are some states where noise levels have upper limits, often around 80 decibels. The list of these states is growing, so it’s important to see if yours is among them. These state agencies consider high noise levels a safety hazard—if you can’t hear equipment coming your way, for instance, you might not get out of its way in time to prevent injury.

One path to a quieter work environment is newer automation, which runs quieter than some older types of equipment, such as a lead-acid-powered lift truck. Or new models of conveyors, which have reduced friction built into the equipment, lessening noise levels. Modern casters are also attached to dollies and carts that lower noise levels. They lower both noise and shocks, resulting in quieter environments. When implemented at scale in a large facility, the result can be a substantial noise reduction.

By achieving significant noise reductions, your workers can operate without noise protection, enhancing their awareness of their surroundings. This reduces the risk of long-term hearing loss and improves safety on the floor. The result? Happier, more engaged employees who are more likely to stay with your company, contributing to a stable and productive workforce.

Other options include facility renovations or ensuring greenfield spaces are outfitted with quiet, modern equipment and systems. When you opt for quieter material handling equipment options right out of the gate, you provide your staff with an all-around improved work environment. This makes your operation more appealing to new employees, especially from the younger generation.

Also, don’t assume you have similar issues if your network has multiple facilities. Differing operations and equipment between them mean you need to consider each separately.

Crucially, adopt a comprehensive approach to noise reduction. Consider engaging an engineer to conduct a thorough audit of your facility, identify improvement areas, measure decibel levels, and design a plan to address potential hazards to employee hearing. By integrating noise reduction into your overall safety plan and regular inspection rotation, you can feel confident in the effectiveness of your strategies.