Rent Quiet Emphasized at NIOSH Buy-Quiet Meetings


Construction equipment, industrial machinery, and power tools continue to evolve enabling people to accomplish jobs faster, more efficiently and safely. Demand for equipment designed to increase production and profit will always be a dominant market force within the manufacturing industry. Equipment design and functionality is also influenced by competitive forces driven by the need to develop machinery that can do more but cost less. Considering how powerful such economic influences are it is naive to think user safety is always the top priority when designing machinery.

Rent Quiet part of Rent It Today's Rent Safe Initiative

Renting tools and the construction equipment rental industry were brought to the forefront of related discussions in recent “Buy-Quiet” meetings hosted by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These meetings included global thought leaders working on the Buy-Quiet (BQ) initiative.

Buy-Quiet is both a call to action and program that is conceptually straight forward: give consumers the option to buy tools and equipment that produce less noise in order to help prevent hearing loss among workers using them. The broader focus of the BQ program involves increasing the demand for quieter machinery in order to influence manufacturers to produce it. Buy-Quiet (BQ) is a National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) jointly organized by the NORA Construction Sector and Manufacturing Sector Programs, and the NIOSH Hearing Loss Prevention Cross-sector Program.

Rent Quiet at RentItToday.comRenting or “Rent-Quiet” is inherently a concept of Buy-Quiet. The words buy and rent are interchangeable within the context of purchasing equipment relative to its use by consumers and workers.

In the case of noise exposure, hearing protection is certainly a valuable tool used to prevent hearing loss. However, a significant opportunity to bring about long term change in reducing noise exposure and thus hearing loss comes from “prevention through design” initiatives like Buy or Rent-Quiet.

If you are unable to eliminate hazards or remove workers from a dangerous environment the next course of action is to minimize the risk from exposure. Programs that offer resources to help people “Rent Safe” (a resource being developed by RentItToday.com for 2012) or more specifically Rent-Quiet are a viable way to bring safety awareness to the construction and manufacturing industries.

Link to NIOSH Noise Meter

Try The Sound Meter at CDC.gov CLICK HERE

A recent article from the NIOSH science blog mentions some of the challenges that come with getting manufacturers to become vested in and prioritize the production of safer, quieter tools and machines. One sure-fire way to bring about change from equipment manufacturers is through influencing consumer purchasing decisions. How is consumer purchasing influenced with respect to buying quieter equipment?

One way is by developing resources that educate and bring awareness to consumers regarding noise levels associated with different types or models of machinery. Examples of such resources include the NIOSH Noise Meter which enables people to listen to different sounds and noise intensities of commonly used items while learning if they could cause hearing loss. Another example is the NIOSH Power Tools Database which enables one to compare the noise levels produced by different tools.

Ultimately if workers and consumers have access to resources that enable them to make informed decisions regarding how safe (or loud) the tools and machinery they rent are, one may increase demand for safer, quieter, equipment thus bring us full circle in the hierarchy of controls and eliminating the hazard.

Written by +Matthew Stephenson of +RentItToday

Follow #rentquiet on twitter @RentQuiet

6 comments
Rick Davis
Rick Davis

In some cases Rent Quiet may be superior to Buy Quiet. The rental agency has an incentive to maintain mufflers and noise-proofing over an construction owner. Also, the equipment turnover may allow the rental agency to incorporate the latest technology into the mix, while the construction company may have an incentive to keep the equipment until it falls apart.

Donald M
Donald M

Hello Matt, Rent Quiet is a great concept. I know when we spoke last you were discussing ways in which rental companies could get involved through Rent It Today's platform. Have you put anymore thought into such?

Scott Mckeel
Scott Mckeel

This is informative and something Mckeel Equipment Rental would like to see about getting involved with.

Peter Maginnis
Peter Maginnis

This is a great program and important within the construction equipment rental industry. How can SoCal-Rental - EquipRent Inc. get involved and help promote Rent-Safe?

Mark Stephenson
Mark Stephenson

Very informative. Excellent article and I agree that "Buy Quiet" should include Rent-Quiet.

Matt Stephenson
Matt Stephenson

@Rick Davis You make some great points that I strongly agree with. Your point about rental inventory turnover is even more significant when looking at the long term goals of Buy Quiet as a prevention through design initiative. Current economic trends drive rentals and result in rental companies building inventory in larger quantities. Thus they have greater potential to effect demand for manufacturers to produce safer, quieter equipment. Considering your points and the fact that rental equipment has a higher chance of being used by less experienced operators, one can certainly justify prioritizing Rent-Quiet safety awareness.