Malawi Journal of Science and Technology

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Assessment of noise levels in heavy and light industries in Blantyre City, Malawi

Isaac Chirwa, Justice Stanley Mlatho, Casper Kamunda, Chomora Mikeka


This study was aimed at assessing noise levels in various companies in Blantyre City, Malawi in relation to their compliance with the National Standards and the Occupational Safety, Health and Welfare Act of Malawi (1997) on noise pollution control program. The noise levels, ambient temperature and humidity were measured in various sections of the different industries in the city. A questionnaire was used to check if the industries applied any control measures to prevent induced hearing loss. The results show that noise levels in most industries are above the recommended limit level of 85 dBA. The study has also shown that only 21 % of the industries complied with the national regulations. Lack of noise data, awareness, commitment, and enforcement by the regulatory authorities were observed to be contributing factors to the failure to implement induced noise hearing loss control programmes. The study recommends that in some sections of the industries where the noise levels are high, programs to reduce or prevent hearing loss should be implemented. In addition, there is a need for regular inspections of noise levels in industries out to ensure compliance of permissible noise levels.

Keywords: Compliance, Decibels, Hearing loss, Industries, Noise levels

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