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General Chat Thread, Working environment - server noise. Is this affecting my hearing? in General; Just a quick question to you all... How many of you work in an office which doubles as your server ...
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    adhutton's Avatar
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    Question Working environment - server noise. Is this affecting my hearing?

    Just a quick question to you all...

    How many of you work in an office which doubles as your server room?

    If you do, is it very noisy from the servers?

    Our office has the servers in it, 12 of them, and various switches and the noise level is quite high.

    I am used to the constant background drone, but I think it may be damaging my hearing and possibly the hearing of my colleagues.

    Any thoughts people?

    Andrew

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    DT2
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    Pardon?



    Why not book in for an audiology assessment through your doc.

    DT

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    I've just moved out of our server room. The noise was constant droning, and I'd get so used to it I wouldn't notice it until I was away for a little while and came back. We tested the decibel reading and it wasn't above the maximum allowed apparently, but I got the move anyway. Great so far but might regret not having air con come the summer.

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    Speak to your H&S rep. From my understanding of it, and limited research - you should not be working in there for extended periods, and it definitely shouldn't be your office. It may affect your hearing, as it's a constant tone within a higher frequency range, where damage can more easily occur. Think tinnitus!

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    Exactly the same here, I had the noise levels tested and it's below the damaging DB level (which was 75 I believe, could be wrong there though). hopefully we should get the chance of a quieter area when the library is changed to ICT!

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    DT2
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    Tinnitus is a hideous affliction, I've had it severely in my left ear for well over a year, and as a result now wear a device that 'masks' the noise - great until you take it out.
    I acquired this under entirely different circumstances, but the law remains the same, the employer must provide sufficient hearing protection if you're required to work for any length of time in a noisy environment.

    DT

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    NikChillin's Avatar
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    We work in a room with the servers and as said before, the decibel level is ok but I have noticed ringing in my ears ove the last 18 months. More so in the left ear which faces the noise.
    We have no where to move though.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Biggest thing to remember is that IT in schools have come a long way - no longer is it the RM store box that sat in the corner and made a buzz its now all about rack mount servers each with 8 HDDs, dual processors and more RAM sticks that I have fingers and toes (well maybe a slight over exaggeration).

    Either way times have changed and your working environment needs to reflect that change.

    If the noise is getting too much point it out to your HandS guys - make the point that over the past few years there has been a significant amount of new kit installed and that it has risen the noise level (if possible get someone to meter it).

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    Eh, what?! Sorry, I can't hear you above the noise in here!

    We work in the server room which doubles as our office. I have raised the issue of noise before but was told that the level of 84db was acceptable.

    On top of the racket, I have a hearing condition (APD) which makes using the telephones a tad tricky at times.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    We had a health and safety assessment done on our office when the servers were in with us and they ruled it was hazardous to health, so the servers are now in a separate purpose built room. I don't think being expected to work with those levels of constant background noise is acceptable - it was certainly causing us to have earaches and such like. It's one of those things you don't notice how bad it is, until they are gone, then you think, 'how did I put up with that for so long??!!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by NikChillin View Post
    We work in a room with the servers and as said before, the decibel level is ok but I have noticed ringing in my ears ove the last 18 months. More so in the left ear which faces the noise.
    We have no where to move though.
    Too bad - for the school. The decibel levels simply mandate when action needs to be taken regardless of worker's current health, but if you are getting ringing in your ears that can be attributed to the environment you work in, then it becomes a H&S problem anyway and they HAVE to do something about it. See your H&S rep, see your doctor, and if necessary, see your union. Hearing damage is usually permanent and is not to be taken lightly.

    My office was also the server room until Easter. I was lucky enough to have a large enough office that they could throw up some partition walls in the corner where the server racks was, and still have an office left.

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    adhutton's Avatar
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    I've worked at this school for about a year now and we have the (very loud) server cabs in our office. I have noticed a definite affect on my hearing.

    I really need to go and have a hearing test, but I fear they may say I need a hearing aid!

    It may just be coincidence that my hearing is not as good as it was, but I am not so sure....

    Andrew

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT2 View Post
    Tinnitus is a hideous affliction, I've had it severely in my left ear for well over a year, and as a result now wear a device that 'masks' the noise - great until you take it out.
    I acquired this under entirely different circumstances, but the law remains the same, the employer must provide sufficient hearing protection if you're required to work for any length of time in a noisy environment.

    DT
    Out of interest, what device do you have that masks the noise of tinnitus? I actually quite like the server noise as it drowns out the tinnitus in my ears which I've had since I was a teenager. Might need to look into reducing it somehow, though if I find it especially bad, I tend to plug in an iPod into the speakers I have set up, or use headphones. Not ideal by any stretch, but it helps me.

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    We were looking at these cabinets, but I found them after the installation contracts were drawn up.

    Might be worth a look.

    If I remember correctly, you can hire them rather than buy them outright.

    Server Cabinets - Virtually silent, Sound Proofed Server Cabinet Rack Solution

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