High levels of noise aren’t just a potential hazard to health in the workplace, they can also threaten productivity. As site supervisors will know only too well, the ability to communicate regularly on-site is essential within the construction industry. If workers need to withdraw from noisy areas every time they want to have a conversation, then you can begin to imagine how much time will be lost over the course of a big project.
Well, now a revealing study has been completed in Sweden, you no longer need to use your imagination. Researchers at Lund University have found that the use of two-way radio communication headsets can improve the productivity of a work unit by 380 minutes per week, increasing productivity from 71% to over 86%.
The University chose to test the effects of the headsets on construction workers as their repetitive and homogenous activities made it possible to compare results over time. The study included two observations on two separate teams, one equipped with 3M™ PELTOR™ WS LiteCom Headsets and one without. Each team performed tasks such as earth excavation, pipe laying and tube welding. The study recorded the time individuals spent on direct work and downtime. Any activity that added value to the project was defined as direct work, whereas downtime was categorised as that during which no direct work was performed, for instance time spent walking across site or conversing with co-workers.
The results of the study showed that downtime during observation one (without headsets) came to a total of 590 minutes for the team. During observation two, the study with headsets, just 320 minutes of downtime were recorded across the team. Detailed follow-up interviews revealed the main advantage for workers was being able to quickly relay and receive messages on the job.
The study concluded that 3M™ PELTOR™ WS LiteCom Headsets improved the productivity of a work unit by 380 minutes per week – an increase in productive time from 71% to over 86%. The headsets solve the two critical problems of noisy environments; providing hearing protection and enabling effective communication.
Speaking to Arbetarskydd, a Swedish occupational safety news website, Fredrik Greén, production manager at Skanska, said of the devices: “Everyone can hear what’s going on, which also makes logistics easier. The increase in efficiency is so great that we recover the higher costs fairly fast.”
For more information about the study please contact 3M™ PELTOR™ Communications Solutions on firstname.lastname@example.org or +46 370 69 42 00, or call Customer Service at your local 3M office. Please visit www.3m.com/PELTOR to stay informed about 3M’s full line of Communication Solutions.