3 effective noise management strategies for industrial operations

Noise pollution is a problem that resonates deeper than most people’s eardrums.


9 min

Noise management is a growing concern for airport teams, site operators at industrial operations such as mining, and construction projects. This is because it is also a key target for compliance regulators.

When there is too much noise in surrounding communities, or the wrong type of noise, people don’t like it and they complain. Excessive noise can start out as a slight annoyance and eventually become the cause of hearing loss, stress and high blood pressure. Damage to hearing may occur when noise levels exceed 85 decibels, especially if the noise is ongoing.

The complex nature of noise management

The World Health Organisation has recently described noise pollution as an “underestimated threat”

Noise poses an ongoing challenge given it’s an invisible and often inevitable by-product of many industrial operations. Tolerance to noise can also vary from person-to-person. While one individual may be relatively unbothered by a noise, another could find it far more problematic.

Airports, mines, industrial operations and construction sites understand the difficulty of keeping operations going while effectively managing noise levels and staying within limits. Excessive noise levels can result in community complaints coming through in spades.

Chronic noise issues have the potential to seriously harm a business’ relationship with the community and its social licence to operate. This has only been amplified in recent years, as many communities have become increasingly vocal about issues impacting them and the environment.

Due to the complex nature of noise problems, finding a suitable resolution can be notoriously difficult and costly. However, the ability to mitigate noise events before they become a cause of nuisance is an ideal solution for site operators.

In the past managing and proactively addressing potential noise impact wasn’t an easy process, but it’s now a few clicks away — credit to today’s noise management software. Particularly when paired with noise management strategies such as unattended, real-time monitoring. Noise management software helps operators to plan ahead and make confident operational decisions while staying within compliance thresholds.

Practical and effective noise management strategies for a complex world

Today complex industrial operations, construction projects and open-pit mines are located closer to dense populations. Busy flight paths lead planes over cities and suburban areas. As communities continue to expand and move within buffer distances of one or more of these operations, modern software has emerged as the solution for more effectively managing and monitoring noise.

Access to 24/7 real-time noise monitoring software gives operators the opportunity to effectively measure environmental exposure, maintain stakeholder engagement and stay within pre-defined thresholds. With fewer noise incidents comes less of a regulatory burden for businesses.

Industrial operators nowadays use several strategies to minimise and manage the impact of noise that rely heavily on effective noise management software. Here’s a closer look at the three most effective strategies and how they are aided by modern software:

1. Encouragement and support of stakeholder engagement

Interjection from stakeholders—such as complaints or feedback from the local community—can be seen as a hassle and inconvenience. This doesn’t necessarily always need to be the case.

When looking to better manage noise at industrial operations, input from stakeholders can help paint a more complete picture of what’s working and where changes could be required. Armed with this information, businesses can get on top of emerging issues faster and before they turn into nuisance complaints. Stakeholder engagement helps site operators make improvements to their noise management approach and subsequently protect their social licence to operate.

Noise management software is a practical tool for operators who want to engage with their stakeholders more transparently. With a public facing interface, communities can easily submit noise observations and have active conversations with the management directly.

It is important to note that rapid response is crucial in these instances and modern software makes it possible to shorten complaint investigation time, while identifying the source of issue.

By providing the opportunity to have noise complaints or concerns addressed, it often means community members are less likely to lodge formal complaints with regulators. 

2.  Using proactive environmental management to get ahead of noise problems

Preventative measures help for site operators to stay ahead of noise problems and put measures in place ahead of time – before they turn into a significant issue.

By understanding conditions that lead to higher impacts, operators are aware of what they need to do to prepare for periods of high noise impact risk.

However, noise management is already a challenge for industrial, construction, aviation and similar sector. The art of trying to pinpoint problems before they happen adds a new level of complexity to any operation. This is where many operations find noise management software to be particularly helpful.

Noise management software can provide threshold alerts of real-time operational data. This enables  a  powerful planning tool for noise mitigation. For instance, certain variables such as weather can change over time, but noise management software alerts use sub-second data. Threshold alerts set up in conjunction with this can notify users the minute there is a potential noise impact event on a surrounding community.

Being able to make informed decisions that proactively minimise noise impacts helps operators avoid exposing surrounding communities to excessive noise. This leads to fewer complaints and minimal downtime, which in turn improves operational efficiency.

Furthermore, all real-time data collected by noise management software is archived and can be retrieved to provide stakeholders at any time. Therefore, business save on resources when it comes to investigating and validating noise complaints. Individuals in the community aren’t forced to put up with irritating and potentially harmful noises and less regulator intervention is needed.

The result is a better outcome for all stakeholders involved.

3. Understand what activities at your site cause noise breaches in the first place

Knowing when you are operating within your noise compliance limits can be the difference between staying operational and shutting down. However, in many cases it can be difficult to determine what caused the breach in the first place.

While it is ideal to prevent noise events at a facility, however, if they do occur the next best thing is getting on top of the problem quickly. By leveraging technology to set up noise alerts at the facility, users can monitor sound levels in real-time and ensure that the ground staff aware of any threshold breaches.

With Envirosuite’s noise management software, alerts and actionable insights are provided on an intuitive colour-coded dashboard. The platform reports threshold exceedances in real time for staff to understand and locate nuisance issue. The faster site operators are aware of a noise problem the quicker they can direct mitigation resources.

Envirosuite’s real-time data and noise management software

Through harnessing the power of modern noise management software, site operators can make faster, more confident decisions that protect their social license to operate.

Envirosuite’s noise management software is built on over 30 years of applied noise management experience. With one of the best Noise Office teams in the world, the platform is trusted by those operating across industries like construction and aviation.

The easy-to-use software provides unrivalled scientific and technological excellence. It includes EVS Omnis and EVS Aviation, both of which can be used to:

  • Investigate noise disturbances in the community to quickly and effectively determine the likely source of noise complaints, enabling businesses to resolve issues faster.

  • Arm site operations with defensible noise management datato accept or refute responsibility for noise complaints.

  • Support growth and expansion plans with rich scientific data to build trust, tolerance and credibility with regulators, government and the community.

  • Provide surrounding communities with a public facing portal for submitting noise observations and complaints directly with the site management.

In addition to building compliance-grade noise monitoring hardware, Envirosuite works with pre-existing noise monitoring devices. A scalable software means industrial operators can start with one product or make use of Envirosuite’s full suite.

Speak with Envirosuite team about your noise management requirements

Designed for rapid deployment, Envirosuite monitoring and forecasting solutions can be implemented in as little as a few days. Contact us to talk about the noise management software.