Your colleague from work, Frieda, is so tiny but when she speaks, it’s like a boom box came along with her as a freebie when she was born. She’s like an energizer bunny, always hyper and talking at the top of her voice. You love Frieda; you really do, but how loud is too loud, you ask? When it’s ear splitting and headache inducing, that’s loud.
This world we live in is noisy enough without people yapping all the time like Frieda multiplied a million times over. It’s a good thing there are noise measurement techniques that can be adapted at your office to silence the offending babble.
Every office should have a policy on keeping the noise down. Noise can damage your ears, pose serious health issues, and destabilize an otherwise happy and conducive environment at the office.
If you happen to be in this situation and have been tasked to be in charge of a committee to get cracking on noise pollution, here are definitive ways to get to a sound solution:
1. Take a survey. Is the noise in your office:
- At a higher decibel than heavy traffic or during rush hour?
- A result of machinery and equipment?
- Caused by the sheer volume of people in a cramp office space?
- Force people to shout in order to be heard?
- Often involve radio and television sounds?
- Causing people to be irritated and on-edge most of the time?
2. Research on and look into databases offering information about handling noise levels in your office.
3. Set a list as your benchmark for determining the techniques you will need to measure noise levels in your office. Include the following:
- Time of day when the noise is at its peaking worst.
- Number of people and departments engaged in the noise barrage.
- The source of the noise – Television, Radio, PC Games, iPod, Cell Phone.
- The noise pattern – varies, intermittent, droning, or reactive.
- Location or where it’s coming from all the time.
4. Use noise measuring devices like:
- Dosimeter – Locks in personal noise exposure
- Sound Level Meter – Measures decibel levels from normal to unbearable.
- Integrating Sound Level Meter – Measures equivalent sound levels or noise frequency.
- Impulse Sound Level Meter – Measures noise during peak hours.
These noise measuring devices are either hand-held or clipped to a person’s belt and yield very reliable results for you to base your findings and recommendations on. These devices should also be calibrated for these to perform at the most effective level possible. For this, reading the manual explaining the procedure will help you on the process as well as following procedure for a successful implementation of the activity.
But before anything else, it is prudent to let the people at the office know about your plan to address this concern. Enlist their cooperation, as this is an activity that will heavily rely on everybody being on the same page as you. Let peace and reasonable silence reign at your office from now on.