What is Noise Pollution?
Noise pollution can be defined as any sound that can affect the health and wellbeing of humans and wildlife, this is on both land and sea. This invisible hazard can come in a number of forms from the hustle and bustle of traffic to lively rock concerts, this is an issue that can impact the lives of many millions of people every day.
Construction sites are a noisy environment and the pollution the workers are subject to every day for long periods of time is dangerous. It is reported that around 30 million construction workers are exposed to prolonged hazardous noise on a regular basis, and around 14% of all construction workers have hearing difficulties as a result of this. It is said that an average human ear can take up to 85 decibels as any higher can cause damage. Many construction projects which involve machinery overstep that level. A crane can reach 90 decibels and a hammer drill reaches 120 decibels; therefore it is extremely important that workers in this environment protect their ears.
The dangers of such pollution can lead to high blood pressure, loss of hearing, stress, sleep disturbances, and many more. The loss of hearing is the most worrying as when this occurs it is irreversible, and sadly this is the most common in the industry. It can also lead to tinnitus which can cause many issues within itself. It is not only the physical health and wellbeing of humans that can be impacted by noise pollution but also the mental health as people living with this damage may feel more irritable, on edge, frustrated or angry if they feel they do not have control over the noise in their environment.
Reports show that noise pollution has had an impact upon wildlife as bluebirds have fewer chicks and caterpillars’ hearts have been found to beat faster due to this. Many animals have struggled to find food, attract mates and avoid predators as they use noise as a navigation tool, and this becomes compromised when they are trying to carry out such tasks. The marine environment which was once tranquil can now be loud and chaotic. Whales and dolphins can suffer due to the loud sounds which occur from ships, oil drills, and many more devices.
Evident from the amount of serious damage this pollution can cause it is so important you find ways to avoid it as much as possible. It is a practice that has been put in place across the globe as we must protect our workforce and wildlife. We have listed a number of options that may help:
- The first and one of the most important methods would be to ensure all employees exposed are wearing protective equipment such as earmuffs, ear plus or canal caps, this will help in preventing damage as much as possible.
- Limit your time around the noise so that again you are reducing the risk of any damage occurring. It is also an idea for the workplace to keep track of the noise levels in each site zone to set such limitation time scales.
- As a company who are employing people to operate in these kinds of environments it would be beneficial to schedule regular hearing test for the staff to catch any cause for concern before it becomes too late.
- Use sound absorbing materials to help to reduce the noise caused on site. Using materials such as metal, wood, concrete all sound waves bounce off of, you are better using carpet, foam padding, fiberglass as they absorb the sound therefore using them on walls, ceilings and floors impacts the noise substantially.
- Add noise barriers to block the direct path of sound as they enclose the source of the sound.
- – Have on site safety supervisor to make sure all safety procedures are being carried out as they should be.
- Ensure all wildlife is protected by carrying out on site inspections before any work begins.
- Try using non-mechanical tools for tasks where possible. if machinery is required then familiarize your staff with the behaviours and lifecycles of the wildlife around you to try work around their patterns.
- Ensuring all workers are prepared and trained on machinery properly before use helps to prevent any accidents from occurring which could result in injured staff, lost labour and slow the speed of your project.
Although the world does not plan to go silent any time soon, we can simply try to protect the people and the wildlife around us with a few simple steps.
At Omnia Machinery, all of our heavy plant machinery is inspected before being prepared for shipment enabling you to buy in confidence. Should you have any used machinery requirements for your upcoming projects, please do not hesitate to contact us! Alternatively, you can browse our extensive selection of quality used plant machinery here.