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  • Writer's pictureKua Mei Wen

The Sound of Silence: Reducing Noise Pollution for Enhanced Productivity

Updated: Jul 3

In 2023, The Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) recorded over 5,101 cases of occupational hearing problems between January and June. This alarming figure has led to the enforcement of guidelines for employers in Malaysia to establish a Hearing Conservation Programme for workplaces with noise exposure exceeding the 82 decibels (dB) limit over an 8-hour work shift.


At noise levels higher than 82 dB, it is equivalent to the rumble of a subway train, high-traffic roads, a running factory, or a music player at full volume with headphones. Now imagine working in a factory on a long shift all day without proper ear protection or listening to music at a high volume through your headphones amidst loud air conditioning sounds. We may become more accustomed to the noise daily, but the long-term risks of hearing loss remain as relevant as ever.

Handling Noise Pollution👂

A typical household food blender is around 88 dB. If your headphone volume is regularly set above 90 to block out external noise, it might be high time to reconsider an alternative. Prolonged exposure to these levels of noise could lead to a Temporary Threshold Shift, which is a potential long-term hearing condition. Beyond hearing concerns, constant exposure may make it harder to concentrate, causing stress and a drop in productivity. For jobs in need of serious focus, it could be a challenge. So, let us try to keep those ears happy and healthy.

Here are some tips you can consider for reducing noise pollution and increasing your productivity at the workplace:

1. Use Noise Detector Application

To handle bothersome noise and improve your well-being, consider using a noise detector app. This handy tool helps you measure the noise levels in your surroundings. If you are in a place with too much noise, the app will give you a range of noise levels. This information empowers you to make choices that can reduce the impact of loud sounds on your overall comfort and well-being.

2. Create a Quiet Zone or Noise Free Area

Another effective approach is to establish a quiet zone or noise-free area in the workplace. This designated area can be purposefully designed to be free from noise pollution, providing an ideal space for employees requiring elevated levels of concentration for their work and providing a peaceful and productive environment.

3. Put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

For employee who work in construction or factories in the long term, they need to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as noise-cancelling earphones or earmuffs to provide an extra layer of protection between workers and hazardous noise.

4. Conduct Awareness Campaign or Training

Education and awareness play a pivotal role in noise reduction efforts. Employers can conduct an awareness campaign or training by increasing workers' understanding of the risks associated with noise pollution and the benefits of noise reduction strategies, they can actively participate in creating a healthier work environment. Educating employees on the proper use of hearing protectors, encouraging regular breaks in quieter areas, and promoting healthy hearing habits are essential steps towards noise reduction goals.

5. Technological Solution to Reduce Hearing Issues

The exterior and interior view of Alpro Mobile Hearing Centre’s mobile truck.

Additionally, there are user-friendly technological solutions for reducing hearing issues. We encourage workplaces to explore innovative technologies designed to make the workplace quieter. For instance, the Alpro Mobile Hearing Centre – much like a mini hearing clinic on wheels! This DOSH-certified mobile truck brings hearing assessments right to your workplace doorstep, where you will find two fully equipped audiometric assessment booths and professional audiologists are on hand to conduct tests, interpret results, and create personalised treatment plans for anyone facing hearing challenges. It is a convenient way to stay on top of your hearing health.

Considering the rising cases of occupational hearing problems, it is crucial for everyone to take noise pollution seriously. Let us act now to protect our hearing and create healthier work environments. Together, we can reduce noise pollution and safeguard our well-being. Take a proactive step today for a quieter and healthier tomorrow.

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