Excessive noise can be more than an annoyance in the bustling manufacturing world. It poses a severe risk to the health of employees and the facility’s overall productivity. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to high noise levels can lead to hearing loss, stress-related illnesses, reduced efficiency, and more 1. Fortunately, a solution can mitigate these risks and create a quieter, safer workplace: CasterShoX® caster wheels.
Manufacturing facilities are notorious for their high noise levels, with approximately 30 million workers in the United States alone being exposed to daily average noise levels exceeding 85 decibels.2 This jeopardizes employees’ hearing and contributes to accidents, communication difficulties, and decreased productivity3. Hearing loss is the second-leading cause of occupational injuries, accounting for 12 percent of reported cases1.
To address the hazards of excessive noise, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established regulations to protect workers. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are legally responsible for providing a workplace free from excessive noise hazards. OSHA requires employers to limit workers’ exposure to 90 decibels, averaged over 8 hours 3.
However, if noise exposure exceeds these levels, employers must implement engineering or administrative controls to comply with the law. Personal protective equipment, such as earmuffs or plugs, can be provided to employees as an interim solution, but it is not an ideal long-term fix3.
One common noise source in manufacturing facilities is the constant movement of material handling carts. These carts, including Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and manually-handled carts, are vital in transporting materials within the facility. Unfortunately, their movement generates significant noise levels, often exceeding 90 decibels, depending on the load and environmental conditions 3.
Addressing noise in manufacturing facilities requires adequate engineering controls at the source. This is where CasterShoX®, developed by Caster Concepts, comes into play. CasterShoX features a patented integrated shock absorption system mounted on a heavy-duty casters’ core. This innovative design offers unparalleled benefits, including shock absorption at the caster wheel level and added damping to reduce vibration and noise at source 3.
The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app can measure workplace noise to determine if workers may experience hazardous noise exposure. The free app combines the best features of professional sound level meters and noise dosimeters into a straightforward tool. The app was created to empower people to test noise levels in their workplace, make informed decisions about noise exposure, and prevent occupational hearing loss.
Lab testing has demonstrated the remarkable noise reduction capabilities of CasterShoX®. In independent studies conducted at a large automotive manufacturer’s logistics facility, CasterShoX reduced noise levels on carts by an average of 10 decibels, with maximum noise levels decreased by over 15 decibels 3.
The noise reduction achieved by CasterShoXhas substantial benefits for manufacturing facilities. According to OSHA guidelines, a reduction of 10 decibels increases the length of acceptable exposure time by a staggering 400 percent. This means that by implementing CasterShoX® and reducing noise levels, workers can potentially work up to six additional hours, resulting in increased productivity and output 3.
Excessive noise in manufacturing facilities poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of employees, as well as the overall productivity of the facility. Compliance with OSHA regulations is crucial, and implementing effective engineering controls is the key to reducing noise levels and creating a safer working environment. CasterShoX® caster wheels, with their innovative shock absorption system, offer a unique solution to significantly reduce noise and vibration at the source, enhancing worker safety, improving productivity, and reducing the risk of accidents.
Take the first step towards a quieter and safer workplace by exploring the benefits of CasterShoX®. Contact Caster Concepts today to learn more about this innovative solution and how it can revolutionize your manufacturing facility.