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SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare have been praised after successfully reducing the noise output of a bottling line by 5 decibels – with the potential to increase the reduction to 10dbs over time.

The company was aware that their bottling lines could be a common source of high noise levels, but that noise reduction must be implemented, and so they looked into how the issue could be dealt with satisfactorily.

While replacing the glass bottles with plastic ones could be a solution, some of the products needed to remain within glass and so another approach was looked into; this involved spacing the bottles further apart. However, the way in which the production line operated made it more difficult for the bottles to be marshalled into position with larger gaps between them.

The company found that the only way to reduce noise was to shield the production line, but this had to be hygienic and it must allow immediate access to any part of the line at any time. They solved this by enclosing the line with a roof of polypropylene plastic, which had an absorptive lining and was coated with a plastic membrane to keep it easy to clean. The sides of the production line were shielded by a 13mm thick acrylic sheet that was hinged at the top to allow operators rapid access when needed.

Through these measures they managed to reduce the noise emitted by the machine by 5 db and it was estimated that this cold be increased if the side-panels were extended to floor-level.

While 5db might not sound like a lot of noise, companies have a duty to minimise the impact of high noise levels on their employees, and it is reassuring to see that some of Britain’s largest companies are taking steps to play their part.

If you or someone you love has been affected by loud noise in their working life, you could be entitled to claim for compensation. Contact one of our highly experienced solicitors today to find out how we can help you get the pay out you deserve. We have years of experience in handling these types of cases and we’ll swiftly be able to tell you if you are eligible to claim, and if so, how much that claim could be worth.

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