It is probably the one area of health and safety in construction which is the most likely to be overlooked.
Did you know that in order to remain safe, noise should be below an 85 decibel level?
It should be no surprise to learn that the work zone of a construction site can often greatly exceed this guideline.
And yet it is a very real risk, for anyone spending day after day, week after week and inevitably, year after year, working in construction.
How should you shield yourself and your team (if you are a supervisor) from the excess noise from the construction site?
Don’t let your hearing suffer – here’s how to protect it for the future!
IDENTIFY WHERE THE NOISE IS
The first thing a foreman or supervisor should do is identify the “hot spots” for noise.
Of course, you should check every corner of the construction site, but pay particular attention to the usual suspects – the heavy machinery and loud equipment.
These would be things such as compressors, concrete mixers and so on.
GET YOUR KIT ON
When it comes to safety equipment and clothing, don’t neglect your crew’s ears.
Earplugs should be worn in areas where the noise is loudest.
Also, erect signs telling team members of the risk to their hearing and reminding them to take steps to ensure their own safety.
Additionally, when earplugs are worn, these should be industrial strength. Not just the regular ones worn in bed, to combat the noise from a snoring partner!
CHECK YOUR EQUIPMENT
Next time you need to purchase new equipment, make sure you check out the decibel rating of the machinery in question.
Yes, there are other considerations also when choosing the right tool or machinery for the job and we know that this is only one factor that you need to think about – but it is still something that should be taken seriously.
It is too easy to forget about the amount of noise that a drill or some other machinery might put out, when ordering new equipment.
Low noise machinery options are available, so when they are a possibility, give them due attention when it comes to making your purchase.
Because sometimes it is not possible to buy a quieter machine, there is another option available.
Some equipment can be muffled or damped down with silencers. These are also an option when it comes to reducing the noise of the construction site.