The most well known effect of noise is loss of hearing. However, noise can also interfere with communications and so increase the risk of accidents. It can also cause adverse health effects including stress.
Engine rooms or machinery spaces can be particularly noisy (90 - 114 dBA). The consequences of exposure to noise levels above 80dBa include:
- Irreversible loss of hearing or noise induced hearing loss (pain or ringing in the ears).
- Crew members with hearing difficulties may not understand verbal instructions.
- General adverse health effects impacting on blood pressure, increase in breathing rate, poor digestion, increase in fatigue and irritability.
- Replace noisy machines.
- Install noise absorbent screens.
- Isolate the noise from the workers.
Appropriate warning signs should be put up in noisy areas and ear protection should be made available and worn.