Winning Stakeholder Buy-in

Responding to Common Objections and Misconceptions

People often hold defeatist beliefs about noise control based on previous negative experiences. As a result, the practice of incorporating buy-quiet requirements into a “normal” purchase process may be mischaracterized as too expensive, too difficult, or insufficiently urgent.

In fact, buy-quiet requirements are quite common, well-received, and usually very successful in industry. The challenge is to adapt them to the needs of each organization and implementation site. When making the business case for reduced noise exposure, you may need to counter objections with data that clearly demonstrates the value and effectiveness of noise control.

“Noise control isn’t technically feasible.”

Vendors are increasingly successful at incorporating noise control into their designs.

“Noise control is too difficult.”

Noise control isn’t necessarily easy, but it can be as simple as selecting a low-noise-emission device. Modifying noncompliant equipment down the road presents true difficulty.

“Noise control is too expensive.”

As it turns out, noise is very expensive—often more expensive than noise control. Failing to control excessive noise increases the long-term cost to the organization and its personnel in the form of medical costs, liability claims, decreased personnel performance, and high turnover.

“Quiet equipment is too hard to find/not available.”

Many manufacturers provide low-noise versions of common equipment, although sometimes these low-noise versions are not well-advertised, so you need be intentional and ask for low-noise equipment. Demand increases supply! Here are some examples of equipment advertised as having reduced noise emission.

“Noise control will hinder the performance of the machinery.”

Equipment that is designed to be quiet is usually powerful, whereas equipment that must be quieted after purchase is often weakened. Learn more about the cost of aftermarket noise control.

“Earplugs are more effective and less expensive than noise control efforts.”

The cost of relying solely on earplugs, which appear to be inexpensive, may in the long run be more expensive than building in noise control from the beginning. Estimates of the practical field effectiveness of HPDs range from 5 to 12 dBA. It’s not always that expensive to get a lot of noise reduction if you plan it in early. This investment in noise control is a one-time cost, whereas the cost of hearing protection is ongoing. Consider also the human cost of personnel being isolated from one another (impaired communication) because of earplugs.

“Excessive noise doesn’t really affect personnel performance.”

Excessive noise does affect employee performance. It inflicts physical trauma on people who are exposed to constant excessive noise. Medical problems due to noise can result in high employee turnover, not to mention costly liability claims. Employees can also experience isolation and lack of clear communication if they are hindered by earplugs or earmuffs while working.

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