Noise TBT 9

Noise in the workplace may have an adverse effect on both people at work and those in surrounding neighbourhoods. Noise at its worst can affect people’s health or cause deafness, at a lower level it is an irritant and an environmental nuisance, as a form of pollution. 

The polluting effect of noise is a direct result of the location of a site and the working hours

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On a construction site noise takes two main forms:-

  • Noise produced by plant and machinery through engines, exhausts, pumps etc.
  • Noise produced in construction processes such as from demolition, piling, scrabbling or the erection of steelworks.

A general reduction in noise on site by the reduction of direct noise sources benefits operators in their working position and will also benefit the environment.

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The following ways to reduce noise should always be taken into account on every site.

Locate permanent and semi permanent plant away from site boundaries, particularly on site with neighbors within close vicinity.

  • Make use of site huts and stockpiles as noise shields.
  • Limit shouting and radios on site in sensitive areas.
  • Arrange material transfer points away from sensitive buildings and people.
  • Arrange delivery times on site to suit the area e.g. daytime deliveries in residential areas, night time deliveries in inner city areas
  • Use all silencing equipment available and keep panels closed on all generators and compressors
  • Switch of noisy equipment when not needed.
  • Arrange routes for mobile plant so as the amount of reversing required is minimized so as to reduce the amount of reverse warning bleeper’s being used.
  • Observe restrictions on working hours.

When erecting a temporary noise screen remember to obscure line of sight (using at least 10 mm plywood or similar material) and minimize gaps in the screen.

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