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Echo Barrier Blog

Sounds like a problem

Posted by Tom Peary on May 24, 2015 10:40:00 AM | Acoustic Barriers|Construction Related

Regular, frequent exposure to loud noise can permanently damage hearing. In honour of the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28th April) we look specifically at how to reduce the problem in the construction industry.

The  World Day for Safety and Health at Work is an annual international campaign to promote safe and healthy workplaces. Every employee should have the right to a safe and healthy working environment and employers have a duty of care in securing this through a system of defined rights, responsibilities and duties, where the highest priority is accorded to the principle of prevention. We work closely with a number of industries to improve working environments. But top of our client list is the construction sector which is a high-risk industry for noise related ill health.

Hear is the problem Many construction processes are noisy. And working on a construction site – or living in the vicinity of one – can detrimentally affect quality of life. Affected people may find that their hearing becomes muffled. They may also suffer from permanent tinnitus (ringing, whistling, buzzing or humming in the ears) which can be distressing and lead to other problems, including depression and loss of sleep. Eliminating noisy processes is the best way of dealing with the problem on a construction site. This is easier said than done but there are some options:

  • Substitute a less noisy process. For example, use a hydraulic block splitter rather than a cut-off saw to cut blocks.
  • Remove people from the vicinity of noisy work. For example, use a machine mounted breaker on an excavator with a good quality cab and exclude other people from the area while the breaker is in use.
  • Select quiet equipment. For example, compare noise levels from power tools when buying or hiring equipment.
  • Provide safety equipment such as hearing protectors which aim at least to get below 85 dB at the ear. Consider how they will be worn with other protective equipment such as hard hats, dust masks and eye protection.
  • Make sure workers are trained in how and when to use hearing protectors and encourage them to take regular breaks in a quiet zone.
Bring in the barriers Acoustic barriers are also something to consider. Here at Echo Barrier, we have seen first-hand the detrimental effects that noise can have on people’s health. Because of this, we have developed our market leading products to help reduce noise and protect the health of workers and local communities. Used worldwide and for a variety of industries including construction, live events and rail works, our acoustic barriers are tested and proven to give up to 40dB noise control. And we are proud holders of the coveted Quiet Mark, which is only given to organisations and products who can prove that they help reduce noise, meaning we have the expertise and products available to help with noise mitigation in an array of situations.

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