London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Woolwich 1963

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Woolwich]

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The Shops Act, 1950 provides that the Borough Council is the
authority for ensuring that temperature, ventilation and sanitary
accommodation is suitably maintained in shop premises. The Council
is also responsible for ensuring the suitability of washing
facilities, lighting, and facilities for employees to take meals
in the shop in which they are employed.
A total of 233 Shops Act inspections were made by the Public
Health Inspectors during the year. A total of 119 defects were
remedied following the service of 29 informal Notices and nine
formal Notices.
As a result of complaints of noise nuisance, the Public Health
Inspectors made 47 inspections during the year.
It was not found necessary to take formal action under the
powers contained in the Noise Abatement Act or the Byelaws made
by the Council to secure abatement of noise nuisances.
A considerable number of the complaints investigated
concerned noisy machinery. A Doctor, whose surgery adjoined a
Launderette, complained of the noise and vibration from the washing
machines when they were in use. The Public Health Inspector confirmed
the existence of a noise nuisance and on inspecting the Launderette
discovered that an electrical switch gear box fixed to the party wall
was a major cause of the noise and vibration. He arranged with the
Manager for a suitable baffle board to be inserted between the box
and the wall and the vibration was thus eliminated. Uneven loading
of the spin dryers was another source of unnecessary noise and
vibration, and the Manager was also requested to ensure that the
washing was evenly loaded into the machines before they were used.
This he promised to do and no further complaint was received.
Noise from a circulating pump operating a central heating
system in an office block gave cause for complaint from nearby
dwellers. A visit by the Public Health Inspector resulted in the
pump being re-sited in a position where it would not cause a nuisance.
Residents living near to a light engineering firm complained
that their sleep was disturbed by hammering and running machinery
that continued throughout the night. Following an interview with
the Manager work involving hammering was promptly discontinued.

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