Construction is noisy work, but all that noise can cause a great deal of harm. Noise pollution is any noise that is harmful or annoying. OSHA recommends that construction sites and other workplaces keep noise levels “below 85 decibels as an 8-hour time-weighted average.” 

Noise pollution comes with a host of negative side effects for workers and those in the surrounding environment. Tucker Paving is just a few months shy of three decades working in the paving construction industry, and we know how loud a construction site can get. Large earthmovers used for earthworks like bulldozers can produce up to 140 decibels; equipment used in asphalt like asphalt pavers create up to 89 decibels, and jackhammers used in concrete installation can create up to 130 decibels. 

Most machines on a construction site meet the definition of noise pollution, and they can cause a host of negative effects for workers, those near construction sites, and even nearby wildlife. The best option is to combat noise pollution in as many ways as possible.

Negative Effects of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution can cause many different negative effects for everyone in and around a construction site. Negative effects include:

  1. Hearing Loss. The most obvious side effect to noise pollution is noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). For those operating or near noisy equipment every day, all day, hearing loss can be severe. Unfortunately, NIHL is irreversible.
  2. Affects Well-Being. For those working near loud machinery and those not close enough to noise pollution to sustain hearing loss alike, hearing the same loud sounds all the time can affect one’s sleep, stress levels, blood pressure, and overall well-being.
  3. Affects Wildlife. Noise pollution is also a nuisance to wildlife near the construction site, and it can drive animals and aquatic life away from their habitats and normal routines.

Combating Noise Pollution

Hearing loss and other negative effects from noise pollution from a construction site happen slowly over time, so it’s important to limit exposure as much as possible. Options for reducing noise pollution can be both engineering and administrative controls, and you should utilize as many options in combination as often as possible. Options for reducing noise pollution include:

  1. Provide Hearing Protection Equipment. OSHA requires employers to make “hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels or greater.”
  2. Reduce Noise. You can buy low-noise machinery, use noise-dampening surfaces (like rubber over metal surfaces), and retrofit current machinery with acoustical silencers.
  3. Move the Noise. Move loud equipment away from workers whenever possible, face it away from workers or places where people are, or run it during times when there are fewer people on the jobsite.
  4. Block Noise. Use noise barriers and sound-absorbing materials on the construction site to protect workers, those living and working around the jobsite, and wildlife near the jobsite.

We have nearly 30 years of experience in the asphalt and concrete paving industry, and safety is always our first concern on any jobsite! We complete projects for residential, commercial, and municipal clients. Contact us by calling (863) 299-2262, oruse our contact form online. How can we help you with your next concrete or asphalt paving project?