One of the most common and dangerous hazards that occur within a manufacturing and production facility is the noise level within the plant. Noise is measured in units known as decibels. Decibels are a ratio of the power level of the sound compared to a logarithmic scale. If an employee is an exposed for too long to high levels of noise, they can begin to lose their hearing. That is where the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 regulation comes into play.
This OSHA standard doesn’t just provide the protection against noise in the work place but monitoring as well. Companies shall provide at no cost audiometric tests for all employees to ensure that no damage is being to the hearing of all personnel. This program is to be repeated every six months and the results are to be made accessible to all personnel.
Hearing is very important to our everyday lives and must be protected due to the fact that once it is damaged hearing loss cannot be lost be repaired. The OHSA 29 CFR 1910.95 is there to protect and monitor this dangerous hazard in the workplace so that all employees can go home safe and sound.
Here at EXAIR we design all of our products to safe and quite. Weather it is using one of our mufflers for vortex tubes or E-vac’s or one of our Super air nozzles we strive to meet and exceed the OSHA standard. One could also purchase EXAIR’s Digital Sound Level Meter which can give a accurate and responsive reading of how loud your compressed air sources are.
For more information on EXAIR’s Digital Sound Level Meter and any of EXAIR‘s Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Many manufacturing plants have a strong focus on safety for their workers. One major safety concern that is overlooked is noise. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has a directive that defines the noise exposure over time; 29CFR 1910.95(a). For an eight-hour day, the maximum noise level is 90 dBA. Hearing loss is irreversible, but it can be preventable. The CDC, Center for Disease Control, and NIOSH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, report that “approximately 18% of all manufacturing workers have hearing difficulty”1.
EXAIR manufactures engineered products to reduce noise levels in the work environment. We offer Super Air Nozzles and Safety Air Guns for blow-off applications and pneumatic mufflers for discharge exhaust. In this blog, I will cover the different types of EXAIR Mufflers that we offer.
Reclassifying Mufflers are designed to have two functions. They can cut noise levels by 35 dB and remove oil mist from the exhaust air. Cylinders and valves that exhaust pressurized air may have oil in the line to keep the seals from sticking. When exhausted, it can create a fine mist which is dangerous for operators. The Reclassifying Mufflers can reduce the loud noise as well as collect any contamination from the exhaust air.
Sintered Bronze Mufflers are simple in design, cost effective, and easy to install. They have a minimal back pressure to not restrict operations of the pneumatic device. They come in sizes from #10-32 thread to 1-1/2” NPT. For a quick and simple way to reduce noise, the Sintered Bronze Mufflers are in stock for fast delivery.
Straight-Through Mufflers offer a way to reduce noise levels without worrying about clogging. They have an aluminum shell lined with sound absorbing foam, and they can reduce the noise level by 20 dB. EXAIR offers them with ports of ¼” NPT, 3/8” NPT, and ¾” NPT. One side has a female thread while the opposite side will have a male thread. This can allow you to connect other items like hose kits to reduce noise.
Heavy Duty Mufflers are used within aggressive environments. They have an outer aluminum shell with an internal stainless-steel screen. They protect components like valves and cylinders from contamination entering into the part. And, the Heavy Duty Muffler can keep contaminant like rust from being ejected at high speed into the work area. They have a typical noise reduction of 14 dB.
Here is a test for you. If you go and stand in your plant, you can probably hear loud noises coming from your compressed air system. EXAIR has an engineered product to solve most of them. On the Hierarchy of Controls for NIOSH, Personal Protection Equipment, PPE, is the least effective. A better control would be to isolate your operators from the hazard with an engineered product. EXAIR can offer that solution for many of your blow-offs and pneumatic discharges to reduce noise levels. This would include; and not limited to; Super Air Nozzles, Safety Air Guns, Super Air Knives, and Mufflers. If you wish to discuss further the safety improvements that EXAIR can provide, you can contact an Application Engineer. We will be happy to help.
I live near an amusement park called Kings Island. In the later part of Spring I can hear and see the people and rides. As the Summer enters and the tree leaves have all grown they act like a muffler reducing the roller coaster noises and screaming people on the roller coasters. These trees are not high enough to block the nightly fireworks but this is a good thing for me as I enjoy the sights and sounds of the fireworks.
An important focus in every manufacturing environment is a “Noise Reduction” campaign making a safer and healthier area for people working in the environment. EXAIR has Silencing Mufflers that can support your efforts for noise reduction. We have a variety of mufflers which will help to reduce work area noise produced by air exhausting from cylinders, valves and other air powered equipment. EXAIR Silencing Mufflers help plants meet OSHA Standard 1910.95(a) by reducing the sound to safer levels. Not only do our Silencing Mufflers reduce sound but they also eliminate harmful dead end pressures by covering up an open port or opening. These openings do not have a pathway for harmful pressurized air to escape if they become blocked.
Sintered Bronze Mufflers: A low cost solution and easy to install in new and existing air powered products. Sintered bronze muffler come in a variety of sizes (10-32 thread size up through 1/2-20 UNF female) and are capable of passing a certain volume of air with minimal back pressure restriction.
Reclassifying Mufflers: These mufflers are an upgrade from Sintered Bronze Mufflers. They offer the best noise reduction, up to 35 decibels. Available from 1/8 NPT up to 1 NPT. Reclassifying Muffles also eliminate oil mist. The patented wrap design of the removable element separates oil from the exhausted air so virtually no oil is released into the environment.
Straight-Through Mufflers: These mufflers offer a corrosion resistant aluminum outer shell lined with sound absorbing foam for better noise reduction. The typical noise reduction is up to 20dB.
Heavy Duty Mufflers: feature a corrosion-resistant aluminum outer shell with an internal stainless steel screen that protects valves and cylinders from contamination that could enter through the exhaust ports. The typical noise reduction is up to 14 dB.
EXAIR can help in your noise reduction projects with many options to consider. If you have any questions or need help selecting the right muffler for your needs please contact any of our qualified Application Engineers.
EXAIRs’ easy to use Digital Sound Level Meter Model 9104 is ideal for identifying and measuring sound levels in manufacturing environments. The source of loud noises can be quickly identified which can then translate to taking some corrective action to lower the noise. Your current compressed air processes could be easily quieted by replacing your current end use product (nozzle, open pipe, open fitting, homemade air device) with an EXAIR engineered compressed air product. All of our blowoff products meet and/or exceed the OSHA Standard 29CFR-1910.95(a) noise exposure standard.
OSHA standards set the minimum level that employers must follow and maintain to ensure safety and hazard free environments. The EXAIR Model 9104 Digital Sound Level Meter will help efforts in reducing the risk of exposure to high noise levels and reducing the risk of hearing loss. The sound Meter will measure the decibel of sound and show the reading on a large LCD display. This unit is battery operated and comes with a certification of accuracy and calibration traceable to NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology).
If you have questions about the Digital Sound Level Meter, or would like to talk about any of the quiet EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Products, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.