Handling the invisible hazard

ACCORDING to Commonwealth Government statistics, the manufacturing industry has a lot to answer for in terms of hearing damaged by industrial noise.

ACCORDING to Commonwealth Government statistics, the manufacturing industry has a lot to answer for in terms of hearing damaged by industrial noise.

Noise is one of the dangers we tend to ignore because it is invisible. Then there are the machines themselves. The devices that save our time and increase our output can become our worst enemy unless they are properly enclosed. According to Andrew Bentrup, director of Advanced Sheetmetal Technologies herein lies the problem.

“Across the nation, we tend to overlook the importance of enclosures,” Bentrup said.

“Enclosures have a double effect in keeping us safe from the hazards of machinery. They keep them quiet, and they keep us away from them to avoid injury.”

Work elated noise induced hearing loss in Australia April 2006, a report by the Australian Compensation and Safety Council, showed that sound and pressure are the principle work-related causes of compensation claims due to loss of hearing.

In 2001/2002, for example, there were 4510 compensation claims due to deafness (in CPM Scope), representing 19% of all disease-related claims made, and 3.2% of the all injury plus disease related claims.

Within manufacturing in 2001/2, metal product manufacturing had both the highest number of claims (545) and the highest incidence rate (365/100,000).

The average cost of workers compensation claims for deafness in 2001/2 was calculated to be $6,711. In Australia, the direct cost of deafness claims for 2001/2 adds up to 4,510 $6711, totalling just over $30m.

“That’s a lot of money in one financial year to treat a specific type of injury which really is quite avoidable if managers do the right thing by staff,” Bentrup said.

“Any closure of quality is made to world standards and is specifically designed to stop its machine from causing these types of injuries, therefore taking the hazard out of the workplace and saving authorities and business owners money at the same time.”

Advance Sheetmetal Technologies has enclosures made to ISO standards that can be configured to any specific footprint or machine height. The acoustic enclosures can also be colour matched to any brand of machinery. Windows are installed at strategic points to give operators good visual access to processes.

Advanced Sheetmetal Technologies 02 8536 5800.