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Old 10-19-2022, 06:49 PM   #1
SailinAway
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Default Industrial noise

Some towns have an industrial noise ordinance that is quite specific about noise levels, time of day, etc. My town is not one of them. There is a factory that seems to have changed its hours of operation (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) and its equipment as the noise has increased considerably. It's a loud hum that's at just the right frequency to make you lose your mind. It's not possible to work at home or to sleep at night without masking the noise (earphones with white noise, etc.). I know that some towns have a complicated way of determining the noise coming from a factory. Those terms don't mean much to the layman. I'm trying to figure out a strategy for taking this up with the town. Since I can't go out and measure the noise, can someone give me a general idea, in layman's terms, of what a reasonable level of noise is? Obviously there is a subjective component---what bothers me might not bother someone else. What kind of evidence can I provide so that the problem is taken seriously?

I'm about a mile and a quarter from the industrial park. We're both on hills, without many trees and no other obstacles between us (the industrial park can be seen on the other side of the Merrimack River valley from the height of land on my street). The noise seems to be amplified by the location of the factory and my house on hills and the empty river valley between.
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Old 10-19-2022, 07:13 PM   #2
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They would use a sound meter (dB meter).

I believe the Franklin PD either has one, or can easily get their hands on one.
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Old 10-19-2022, 07:20 PM   #3
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I just looked. You can down load a Db meter on your smart phone to measure the noise. Not sure how accurate they are, but it will give you at least a base line.
Or On Amazon $20-100 you can get a real one.
I Agree the PD should have one. I know CT cops due because they have a strict exhaust noise rules down there!!
Good luck
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Old 10-19-2022, 07:32 PM   #4
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Well, let's say I know the decibels of the factory. What's next, since this town has no noise ordinance for factories?
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Old 10-19-2022, 08:02 PM   #5
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If it is loud enough, you could use the data to facilities engineering or maintenance. The company may be willing to work it out.

Or you may have to petition for the ordinance through the city council.
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Old 10-20-2022, 06:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Some towns have an industrial noise ordinance that is quite specific about noise levels, time of day, etc. My town is not one of them.
What town in the Lakes Region are you referring to?
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:25 AM   #7
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Franklin.
She lives near the IP.
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:29 AM   #8
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Some states and communities have decibel ordinances in the 80-90 degree range but unfortunately,many annoying bass notes do not exceed that level so even though it's driving you nuts they probably aren't in violation
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
It's a loud hum that's at just the right frequency to make you lose your mind. It's not possible to work at home or to sleep at night without masking the noise (earphones with white noise, etc.).
Sounds to me like a description on tinnitus, and how your brain hears a false signal coming from a sound damaged cochlea inside your inner ear.

For everyone living in Franklin, NH, who is unfortunately subject to co-exist with this aberrant local irritating factory noise suggest you take a look at the $18.99 SonTech white noise machine in color white or black. Runs on 4-AA batteries and has nine different sounds: white noise, pink noise, brook, crickets, rain, ocean wave, thunder, night campfire, lullaby, and relaxing music.

Is very good for sleeping and masking the irritating noise.

Easy to use, very reliable even when knocked onto the floor, runs for months on 4-AA batteries ...... and your calm brain will thank-you very much!

IP, Franklin NH is probably an abbreviation for http://www.franklinnh.org/fbidc/page...park-employers. Is it obvious which factory is creating the irritating and unhealthy noise?

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Old 10-20-2022, 08:55 AM   #10
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Sounds like tinnitus to me too.
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Old 10-20-2022, 09:07 AM   #11
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If she doesnít hear it everywhere she goes, it isnít tinnitus.
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Old 10-20-2022, 09:12 AM   #12
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If she doesnít hear it everywhere she goes, it isnít tinnitus.
Not necessarily. If you are distracted or doing something you don't notice tinnitus. If you are sitting quietly at home, it can be very loud.
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Old 10-20-2022, 10:01 AM   #13
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Solutions will be different if there is something unique about the OP location and/or structure, or if it is general to the neighborhood. There is also a consideration if there are other areas of the city where the noise is a problem.
First, I'd check with neighbors to see who else is concerned. There are at least three Franklin based discussion groups on Facebook that might be an easy starting point. If there is general agreement of a problem in the neighborhood, I'd invite the Mayor, City Manager and ward City Councilor to a coffee to "observe" i.e. "listen" to the situation. Elected officials can interact with the NH Municipal Association to get ideas of existing ordinances to find other town's experiences as to what actually works and what is on the books that really is ineffective.
An ordinance may not be the easiest, most effective, or quickest solution. Your City Councilors may talk to the company and find out that they are planning equipment upgrades that will improve the situation or eliminate the problem. It is generally not the goal of local industry to be bad neighbors.
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:05 PM   #14
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FLL is an expert on Tinnitus. I believe he has had it for four years or so.

Maybe if he reads this he can provide some comments to this thread.
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Old 10-20-2022, 07:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbiesaukee View Post
If she doesnít hear it everywhere she goes, it isnít tinnitus.
HAHA! Good one, Dr. Newbie. I hear voices everywhere I go. What do you reckon that means?
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Old 10-20-2022, 08:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
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HAHA! Good one, Dr. Newbie. I hear voices everywhere I go. What do you reckon that means?
As long as you’re not getting into conversations with them, you’re good!


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Old 10-21-2022, 09:42 AM   #17
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I think you'll find there is a bit of a push and pull between Franklin really needing industrial activity and jobs vs. people having a right to quiet comfort. Hopefully if the situation is approached thoughtfully the factory can be engaged at looking for improvements.

When it comes to industrial noise there are often solutions that don't cost all that much and don't cause a change of hours. Sometimes it's as simple as sound deadening materials used around the machinery, sometimes more complicated like building a barrier wall or stand of trees.
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Old 10-23-2022, 12:33 AM   #18
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Depending on the process involved, and the skill of the management team, in the past we did something internal.

Without that, the OSHA requirements for safety gear was considered to hinder productivity. Franklin Hospital got its occupational services department largely because of the IP; among other things it does certified audiometric testing.
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Old 11-05-2022, 03:33 AM   #19
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Lightbulb Barrier Wall "Recycling"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LikeLakes View Post
I think you'll find there is a bit of a push and pull between Franklin really needing industrial activity and jobs vs. people having a right to quiet comfort. Hopefully if the situation is approached thoughtfully the factory can be engaged at looking for improvements. When it comes to industrial noise there are often solutions that don't cost all that much and don't cause a change of hours. Sometimes it's as simple as sound deadening materials used around the machinery, sometimes more complicated like building a barrier wall or stand of trees.
When I last toured Germany, I noted two recycling efforts:

1) Shredded old tires to make rubber "bricks" to line shooting-range backstops.

2) Recycled plastic containers were melted down to make large "Lego"-style blocks. These were arranged alongside highways to reduce traffic noise that affected residential neighborhoods.

'Seems these "Lego"-style blocks could be made here in various sizes, sold (or given away), to control pets indoors, or keep children safe outdoors.
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Old 11-05-2022, 07:14 PM   #20
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I'd like to point out that noise pollution impacts property values significantly. As I said, this noise is NEW. If I were to try to sell my property, this would be a strike against the sales price. Highly doubtful that my property tax will be lowered though. By the way, hearing this noise 24 hours a day or listening to white noise with headphones all day and on the TV all night is as irritating as when I had tinnitus. In fact I wish I had tinnitus again to drown out the factory noise.
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Old 11-06-2022, 01:36 AM   #21
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Either a new piece of equipment or a change in the process has probably come on board.

Contact Jim Aberg and the City Council with your concerns.
They will inform the company and be able to get information on what the company may be attempting to rectify the noise.

If you are hearing it constantly at your house, the company is expending a lot of money in worker safety and testing to comply with OSHA. It can get to the point where it would affect the OSHA compliance of even nearby companies.
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Old 11-06-2022, 11:03 AM   #22
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John, I'm not convinced that quality of life is a priority for Franklin. Things are tolerated here that would never be tolerated in other Lakes Region towns. One loses one's motivation to try to address problems after a number of years.
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Old 11-06-2022, 11:57 AM   #23
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For companies, it really isn't quality of life.
When Polyclad first entered the IP, it was so that we could increase production. The Tannery St facility was already operating 24/7, so a new facility had to be built.

After that, the market matured. We reached the point that producing more was not going to work as the market demand was reached... we were attempting to take market share from other customers, and did so. But we did so because the corporate management demanded more than the local management could provide... the answer were to maintain production, but reduce costs.

Most management focuses on labor costs... but we decided to focus on management labor costs, and secondary expenditures.

We grabbed ideas from everyone and reduce or hazardous and material waste to the roughly 10 percent of what it had been less than a year before. We noted that workers were taking lots of sick days (probably stress) and changed the format to pay workers for sick days they did not use, and require a doctor's note for every incident more than 40 hrs per year.

But OSHA noted that ''noise'' was playing a large role at that time. So we went to earplugs and testing - that is how the new occupational wing at Franklin Hospital came into being... we made the investment. After that, serious efforts went into monitoring worker health from on-site physicals that included eye testing, to testing at random all employees for hearing degradation.

But as costs were adding up... it made sense to expend engineering hours to reduce noise pollution (they also included light due to concerns around that).

The choice to leave Franklin (even though Polyclad was the largest tax payer at that time) was due to high energy costs - the State didn't really care to focus on that problem - and high transportation costs - the State decided that the rail line was more important for recreational purposes than as a mass freight line.

So while Franklin may not be concerned - they tend not to learn from past examples - the company is most likely very concerned on the cost factor.

Aberg may be able to get you a meeting with at least the plant manager. A good manager will see it as an opportunity to cut secondary costs rather than some else's problem.
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