Noise pollution in construction


Noise pollution comes in many forms (noisy neighbours, live events, airports etc.), but the construction industry in particular has high potential for risk to the workforce. Being subjected to continued high levels of noise can lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, sleep disturbance and increased blood pressure. These symptoms create health issues for the workforce which can then impact on time and costs for the business or project.

The Health and Safety Executive explains that the Noise at Work Regulations 2005 exist to “make sure that people do not suffer damage to their hearing”. It also states that; “Wherever there is noise at work you should be looking for alternative processes, equipment and/or working methods which would make the work quieter or mean people are exposed for shorter times. You should also be keeping up with what is good practice or the standard for noise control within your industry.”

All noise pollution risks should be identified and detailed in a Risk Assessment (if you don’t have an up to date Risk Assessment, please contact us).

Reducing noise pollution in construction

Good planning will remove many noise related risks, so consider the following;

  • Give employees the correct protection, including ear defenders, ear plugs and sound level meters or apps (hearing PPE should be used when noise levels exceed 85 decibels)
  • Make sure employees have had the correct training before they start using any loud equipment
  • Service all existing machinery and equipment to ensure it is fit for purpose (pay particular attention to exhaust systems and silencers)
  • If possible use electric or hydraulic equipment – these will be significantly quieter compared to equipment running on fossil fuels
  • Fitting noise barriers, guards and vibration-absorbing materials (foam padding, rubber matting) will help contain and reduce the spread of noise

Free noise pollution advice

The Atlas Safety Management team are ready to advise on reducing noise pollution in the construction industry or any workplace environment. We’ll work with you, helping you to keep your business compliant and your workforce safe. If you’d like to know more, request a consultation today – they’re completely free of charge and done at a time to suit you.

Book your FREE consultationTake a look at our Noise Awareness online course

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