Noise exists at home, in the workplace, on the road, and in public places. Environmental noise management refers to practices aimed at controlling the level of noise pollution. This is especially so when the sound levels become a nuisance to a vast majority of people risking their hearing ability or making them lose concentration.
Below are environmental noise management practices that are employed to reduce noise pollution in various areas.
Machines working in manufacturing and processing industries produce a significant amount of noise that could be damaging to the human ears. Construction based activities such as welding, grinding, and blasting also generate a lot of noise. As a safety measure in the workplace, employees must wear ear acoustic earmuffs. Machines are enclosed to reduce the amount of noise, and in severe circumstances, the rooms in which these machines work are designed to insulate sound.
Vehicles, aeroplanes, trains and ships are major noise pollutants around the world. Below are a few measures taken to control their noise:
- There are strict regulations on how much noise modern vehicles can produce. Most cars have silencers in their exhaust systems to reduce exhaust noise.
- Airports are often located away from human settlements as aeroplane engines are very loud. Materials used to build the plane are such that passengers are shielded from the noise of the engines.
- Trains produce noise from their engines and their contact with the track. Using disk brakes and installing rubber around the rail drastically reduces train noise. The track can also be designed to pass in tunnels or high above to minimise noise pollution.
- Underwater noise pollution from ships significantly impacts marine life. Slow steaming is one of the effective noise management strategies employed in the industry in recent years.
There are strict regulations in some jurisdictions over where one can set up a club or pub. In instances when the establishment is located in a residential area, then the management is instructed not to exceed a specific sound level. Soundproofing is also a viable noise management alternative.
Noise in hospitals comes from machines, alarms, people, and television sets. Such noise could keep patients awake hence preventing them from resting. Hospitals take extensive measures to reduce noise by providing earplugs to patients, providing headsets for radio and T.V. and implementing a strict protocol on patient sleeping hours.
Environmental noise management strategies in industries, transport, entertainment spots and hospitals comprise various government and self-regulation measures aimed at managing noise levels.