Are You Protected Against Construction Site Noise?
It’s no surprise that a construction site is one of the noisiest places to be in. While it may be a fleeting annoyance for pedestrians and passersby, construction noise impacts over 10 million construction workers on a daily basis.
Sound intensity is measured in units called decibels (dBA). Prolonged exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can damage hearing and increase the likelihood of permanent hearing loss. According to Washington University’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Services, construction workers are exposed to over 85 dBA for 70% of their daily shift.
Despite the hazards, construction workers report only wearing hearing protection devices for less than 20% of the time. Consequently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 14% of all construction workers report have hearing loss due to work-related noise.
How to Protect Your Hearing
If construction noise is such a serious risk, why aren’t construction workers protecting their ears? There are many factors that could explain this, including not having awareness of how loud construction work really is, lack of safety training, and having a weak safety culture in their organization. Here are some ways construction workers can protect their hearing and construction managers can promote better safety on the job site.
- Invest in quieter or noise cancelling equipment
- Employ sound barriers and enclosures
- Have on-site safety overnight
- Wear hearing protection devices
- Schedule regular hearing tests for workers
Hearing protection on any construction site needs to be a priority. To put the risks of construction noise into perspective and help construction workers and managers protect their hearing, BigRentz compared common construction noises to everyday sounds and outlined the average decibels of construction trades.
Lior Zitzman is the Director of Digital Audience at BigRentz, a construction equipment rentals marketplace with a network of over 1,500 rental partners. He has more than 15 years of experience in enterprise-level SEO.