Our acoustics team has helped many mining, construction and manufacturing sites control noise through operational management.
Operational noise control requires a thorough understanding of the noise profile of a site, machinery or industrial process to develop effective control strategies. Every site is different, so control strategies are customised to suit each site’s unique characteristics and challenges.
- Activities that occur only at a certain times of day, such as product deliveries, traffic peaks, works within a particular part of a site or works that coincide with “quiet” times of day.
- Activities that have different levels of impact under different meteorological conditions, for example, short-term enhancements due to night-time temperature inversions, or seasonal enhancements due to prevailing winds.
- Understanding when quiet and noisy times of day occur, and scheduling noisy works to coincide with naturally noisier times of day.
- Orienting noise-generating plant so that the noisiest emission points (exhaust, fans or air intakes) do not point directly at sensitive receivers.
Managing noise through scheduling may effectively control noise impacts, avoiding the need for engineering intervention or capital investment in attenuation kits. Real-time management provides decision makers with an additional layer of flexibility.
- Adjusting operational noise profile to match conditions (speed restrictions)
- Substituting noisy machinery with less noisy machinery or processes when works are required in exposed/high-risk locations
- Monitoring short-term weather forecasts and standing down equipment under adverse conditions, then enabling immediate resumption upon a return to favourable conditions.
Operational noise management lends itself to activities that have variable noise emissions in either space (large sites with mobile plant) or time (sites on which noise emissions are not continuous).
This approach typically proves to be less beneficial on smaller sites, close to receivers, with a continuous noise emission profile. There is little scope to implement activity changes that will significantly affect noise emissions. This may include sites with noise emissions dominated by fixed mechanical plant (ventilation or refrigeration plant) located in close proximity to noise-sensitive receivers. In these cases, engineered solutions provide more meaningful reduction.