Noise in the workplace is a widespread problem that can adversely affect the health and well-being of employees as well as productivity and quality of work. We often forget to include in the study and design phase of a facility how much it can go into increasing noise emissions and what the costs are to remedy the problem at a later date.
This, of course, includes even more prominently work environments with air handling, extraction and filtration equipment, as these can also be sources of unwanted noise. In the following, we will examine noise issues in these environments and discuss some possible solutions to address the problem.
Noise-related problems in work environments with air filtration equipment
Air treatment, extraction, and filtration systems are essential in many workplaces to ensure air quality and worker safety by ridding them of fumes, dust, process waste (e.g., wood chips or metal fragments), toxic vapors, and other hazardous substances. However, these facilities can produce unwanted noise, which can cause several problems:
Disturbance to workers
Constant or sudden noise can disturb those who work, reducing their concentration and increasing stress. This can lead to decreased productivity and quality of work.
Prolonged exposure to high noise can have adverse effects on workers' health. It can cause stress, sleep disturbances, and hearing loss. Studies have even emerged that correlate the presence of constant loud noise in the workplace and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.
In many countries, there are regulations on noise in the workplace that companies must comply with. Existing regulations require noise limits, and national occupational safety institutes (e.g., Inail in Italy) have drafted special guidelines for compliance with workplace noise limits. Exceeding noise thresholds can result in fines and penalties.
Impact on the environment
Excessive noise can also have a negative impact on the surrounding environment, starting with plants and animals and ending with communities living in the area.
Solutions to reduce noise
There are several steps that can be taken to reduce noise in workplaces equipped with air handling, extraction and filtration systems:
One of the most effective solutions is soundproofing. This involves the use of sound-absorbing materials to reduce sound propagation. The walls, floor and ceiling of the area where the equipment is installed can be covered with sound-absorbing materials. In addition, noisy machines can be contained in soundproof enclosures suitable for this purpose.
Silenced exhaust systems
Plant gas exhaust systems can be equipped with silencers to reduce the noise produced during the air intake and filtration process.
Proper maintenance of equipment is critical to reducing noise. Ensuring that equipment is in good working condition can prevent unwanted noise from worn or malfunctioning components.
Optimization of fan speed
Reducing and adapting fan speed in air handling systems can help reduce noise without compromising system effectiveness.
Providing training to workers on the proper use of equipment and best practices for noise reduction can help minimize noise exposure and prevent hearing damage. This includes disclosure regarding the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Installing noise monitoring systems can help companies identify noise sources and take corrective action in a timely manner.
What Coral does to reduce noise in air filtration products and systems
Noise in work environments with air handling, extraction and filtration equipment is an issue that requires attention. Reducing noise is not only important for the health and well-being of workers, but also for regulatory compliance and quality of work. Coral was perhaps the first company in the industry to intercept the problem of noise in air filtration equipment and find appropriate solutions.
Wide range of fans
Not all environments are the same and, as a result, each system must be configured on an ad hoc basis. Coral 's wide range of fans makes it possible to identify the correct size, flow rates, and pressures for each plant so that the right system can be installed. This optimizes not only the performance of the system, but also meets sound thresholds.
Tools for noise limitation
The ventilation system is definitely the noisiest element of an air intake and filtration system. For this reason, Coral equips its systems with special soundproof boxes to keep noise to a minimum, effectively making its systems among the quietest on the market. In addition, fan motor speed management can be fully managed remotely thanks to the AHead control system, capable of operating in both predictive and reactive modes, which makes it possible to optimize the performance of the fan, the beating heart of large and medium-sized systems, without varying the capacity of the best capture, thus lowering the noise emitted.
Finally, Coral also manufactures special silencers, which can be installed upon request, of varying sizes (visible in the photos below) to further reduce the noise emissions of air filtration systems.
Not only for large facilities
The noise problem to which Coral provides solutions does not only affect centralized systems for medium and large factories. Even standard products for laboratories, workshops and small environments can create noise problems. It is for this reason that Coral provides along with a range of products such as wheeled filters (such as Grindex or cartridge filters from the Iperjet DF line) a special soundproof plenum to be installed on top of the filter, near the electric fan, to reduce noise emissions.