Every day, millions of Australians are exposed to noise pollution directly caused by construction noise. The harmful effects of construction noise pollution can come from many different sources, such as rock hammering, road sawing, excavation, drilling and rock cutting. Construction noise can directly contribute to a variety of health related risks, including adult blood pressure elevation, hearing loss and disruption to local areas.
Whilst construction noise pollution is a serious concern on most construction sites, there are a variety of controls that can limit your work site’s sound output.
What is considered noise pollution?
Any sort of sound that has an impact on the health and wellbeing of people and wildlife is referred to as “noise pollution.” Decibel measurements are used to determine the intensity of noise pollution.
As a general rule, any construction noise that produces or exceeds 85 dB of sound during an 8-hour period is considered to be excessive unwanted noise. To shield workers from the negative impacts of noise pollution at this level of sound exposure, WH&S mandates that personal protective equipment designed specifically for construction noise be used.
What are the harmful effects caused by construction noise?
- Hearing impairment and permanent loss of hearing – exposure to construction noise both short and long term can lead to irreparable damage to a construction worker’s hearing.
- Wellbeing – prolonged exposure to loud noise levels can cause high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress.
- Psychological issues – construction noise exposure, left unchecked can lead to anxiety, mental impairment and increased stress.
- Insomnia – Long-term exposure to noise pollution can interrupt sleeping patterns, making it harder to fall asleep, or stay asleep.
Different types of construction noise control
Administrative controls are modifications to how people do business. These controls focus more on streamlining the work schedule to minimise the impact of excessive noise on workers than they do on the machinery at a construction site. Controls include:
- Operating noisy machinery and equipment when fewer people are present
- Limiting the amount of time that a worker is exposed to noisy areas
- Establishing tranquil spaces where staff can rest during breaks
Engineering controls separate workers from construction noise and its associated risk by containing or rerouting the course of the loud noises away from the source. Certain pieces of equipment assist in reducing noise pollution:
- Choosing low-noise machinery
- Maintaining and lubricating equipment and machinery
- Utilising noise barriers and other noise suppression equipment
Bottom Line: Reducing Construction Noise Benefits Your Workers and the Surrounding Community
When compared to other types of hazards, where the dangers may be seen, construction noise pollution is less evident. However, millions of Australians are impacted every day by the very real hazard of noise pollution.
Employing strategies to reduce construction noise pollution at the workplace can benefit both the workers and the local community.
Control Hire are experts in construction site equipment needed for dust control, noise control, ventilation control and fume control. Ensure that your workers are protected each day. Click here for more information or a free consultation.