How Loud is too Loud at Work?

Updated: Aug 19, 2019



Have you ever been in a restaurant or out for the evening at a local where you couldn’t hear your companion speaking (or even shouting) to you over the noise? A normal decibel level for a conversation between friends typically ranges between 60-65 decibels. If you have to shout to the person right in front of you, you could be dealing with decibel ranges over 85 or 90.

“The background noise is too loud, Dr. Hughes said, if a person’s voice has to be raised to be heard by someone three feet away. Signs of too much exposure include not hearing well after the noise stops, a ringing sound and feeling as if the ears are under pressure or blocked. None of these symptoms necessarily mean the damage is permanent, though even if hearing seems restored to normal, damage may have been done.” says Dr. Gordon Hughes, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

If you’re a business owner, you may already know that over an 8-hour time span, workers exposed to 90 decibel noise levels are required by OSHA to wear hearing protection, and at even 85 decibels, ear protection must be provided and hearing tests conducted by employers.

If you weren’t aware of these guidelines, and you think that your noise levels may be in question, a noise assessment may be in order. You may be just fine, and it would be worth a consultation to check. If you are above OSHA guidelines, solutions can be as simple as installing appropriately placed acoustical panels to reduce background noise and still maintain an upbeat atmosphere.

Sound Proof Atlanta consultants use experience and specialized equipment and software to provide you the simplest and most affordable solutions tailored to your unique noise issues that target the problem areas of your specific building structure.


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