If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
At S-E-A we do not tackle such philosophical questions, but we can tell you that the tree makes no noise. Noise, as described by Webster's Dictionary, is an unwanted or unpleasant sound. Thus, if no one is around to perceive the sound of a falling tree, the resulting vibrations do not interact with an ear at all, let alone in an unpleasant manner.
However, nearly every day our ears are confronted with noise, whether at home or at work.
Locomotive whistles, chirping birds or loud air conditioners may keep us awake at night. These nuisance noises must strike a careful balance among all parties, from the source to the receiver. The receiver’s quality of life is of significant importance, but so too is the operability, productivity and/or safety of the source. Recognizing these competing interests, many localities have implemented zoning and noise ordinances in an attempt to establish the balance of rights.
At work, one may be subjected to loud machinery or equipment. Companies and equipment manufacturers must strike a similar balance, preventing noise-induced hearing loss by adhering to applicable OSHA regulations, guidelines and/or codes, while maintaining operability and productivity.
S-E-A’s noise consulting professionals, consisting of industrial hygienists and mechanical engineers, have extensive experience in the testing and evaluation of noise levels, as well as proper interpretation of applicable regulatory statutes and guidelines, many of which are poorly written or misunderstood. Having surveyed everything from communities and apartments to factories, ships and industrial plants, S-E-A’s investigators assist major businesses in the selection and application of source, path and receiver controls to mitigate high noise levels in accordance with applicable standards. They have also provided investigation and litigation support for cases of alleged excess exposure.