How noisy is your compressor room?


Air compressors are brilliant sources of energy for manufacturing processes but there is also another energy by-product which needs to be considered – sound!

With 17,000 people in the UK on record as suffering with hearing problems from excessive noise in the workplace, the importance as an employer to control noise is obvious.

What impact can noise have on a person?

Noise at work can cause effects which can be temporary or permanent including:

  • Irritation or anger, from sound levels from 35 decibels (dBa)
  • Nervousness, stress and interrupted concentration, from sound levels from 65dBa
  • Hearing impairment including damage to the inner ear, from 80dBa
  • Mechanical damage and complete deafness, from 120dBa upwards

Noise can be hard to avoid if you’re working in an environment with tools or machinery, and while compressed air systems may not be the main perpetrator, the input still adds to the overall noise levels.

Here are some effective means of reducing the impact the noise from your compressor can have on the workplace:

The design of the compressor itself as some stationary compressors have started to minimise the amount of moving parts to reduce noise. Many of CompAir's compressors including the Ultima and Quantima ranges have very low noise levels compared to their size and power. This is a great benefit for when you want to use the compressors at point of use.

Firstly, consider the placement of your compressor; does it need to be positioned in an area used a lot by workers? If possible move your compressors to a dedicated room and plan pipework to feed the application.

Alternatively, you can place an acoustic barrier to between the source and the receiver to insulate part of the sound. By attaching absorbents to the barrier, such as polyurethane foam or heavier cloth applications, this would further reduce the sound level.

Finally, while it may appear obvious and should never solely be relied upon, everyone working in the environment should be wearing the appropriate PPE such as ear plugs or defenders to reduce the volume of noise.

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