Noise, Sound and Noise-Control Strategies

The difference between sound and noise is heavily reliant on the listener and their circumstances. Sound is what one hears while noise is the unwanted sound(Yerges, 1969). The classification of sound as noise is personal and what counts as sound to one individual may amount to noise to another depending on their context. When classifying sound as noise, its characteristics, magnitude, time of occurrence, and duration are the determining factors.

In occupational safety and health, noise reduction is critical to the welfare of the employees. Noise reduction strategies can involve source treatment, path treatment or receiver treatment. Source treatment entails the treatment of the source of noise. Here, various modifications and reformations are made to the source to stop or reduce the spread of noise from its origin. Examples of source treatment strategies include vibration isolation, vibration dumping, and the use of mufflers and silencers(Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2001).

Path treatment means the interruption of the path between the source of the sound and the receiver. Typically, noise barriers are erected to alienate the source. The effectiveness of putting up a noise barrier must go hand in hand with its effectiveness in noise reduction. Path treatment is mostly used in situations where source treatment is not applicable. Examples of path treatment strategies include reduction of reverberation and use of Sound Transmission Loss Materials(Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2001).

Lastly, receiver treatment involves treatment for individual residences that are exposed to noise. This is particularly by use of noise protection devices, equipment, and techniques. Examples of receiver treatment strategies are the use of control rooms, isolation booths, and cabs(Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2001).

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