The highly tonal noise from corrugators and slitters at Northern Packaging, the premiere packaging company in the north of England, had caused complaints from local residents and was subject to an abatement notice. The company was quoted £150,000 for conventional environmental noise control (building modifications) but with no guarantee it would solve the problem. An EHO who had been on one of our BAT courses suggested we might have an alternative approach.Following a best practice audit, we developed noise control at source engineering modifications to cut the noise generated by the corrugator and slitter machines inside the building. Installed by Sound Damped Steel, these not only reduced the problem tonal noise by up to 9dB, but also eliminated the requirement for mandatory PPE – a double benefit. In addition, the cost was only c£25,000, an 80% saving over the proposed conventional noise control methods.
This is a typical example of the success of our approach to environmental noise problems, re-defining noise control best practice by developing elegant engineering solutions in place of the high cost, conventional palliatives usually considered. Moreover, to the delight of the company, the project also satisfied their mandatory noise control requirements under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations – at no added cost. This approach should be standard practice for environmental noise pollution problems. Controlling noise at source is always the first step in the process of defining BAT or BPM.