Sound is the vibration at frequencies that can be detected by the organs of hearing. Sound is used for communication, notification, detecting danger, etc. We need to look at two aspects of sound: noise and difficulty of communication.

Noise – is any unwanted sound which can be produced by equipment, such as pile compactors, pumps, compressors, pressure relief, etc. For any noise above 85 dB hearing protection is required. The effect of excessive noise is long term and leads to permanent hearing loss.

Difficulty of communication – Sound is the way we communicate and if there is a difficulty hearing a sound (due to excessive noise and/or sound barriers) this might be a contributing hazard under emergency situations when the communication is critical. So the means should ensure the sound levels in the workplace are not so high that they impact communication between workers, or could impede hearing warnings or alarms.