Worker Safety: Construction Noise Hazards and Control Measures

Written by Joanna Masterson on February 27, 2019


Noise Hazards and Control Measures

Given that about three-quarters of construction workers are exposed to construction noise above the recommended limit, 83 percent of the 237 contractors surveyed for a new Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Brief say they’ve purchased quieter equipment, yet well over half of those firms report their company could do better with construction safety.

Additionally, 85 percent of contractors report using hearing protection onsite more than 50 percent of the time, yet less than half say they always use it, suggesting a significant opportunity for improvement in the industry. Digging deeper, the survey determined small companies lag behind large and midsize ones in the use of hearing protection for construction noises. Also, half of general contractors report always using hearing protection, compared to about one-third of trade contractors.

Only 35 percent of contractors report that they place loud equipment behind barriers (more than half of the time) to protect workers from the damage caused by construction noise. It’s slightly more common to isolate loud equipment from the work area, with 43 percent of respondents implementing this practice more than half of the time.
Read the full SmartMarket Brief for more information on noise hazards and control measures, including musculoskeletal injury prevention, materials handling and safe lifting best practices, and construction safety leadership and mentorship.

Reprinted from Construction Executive, February 2019, a publication of Associated Builders and Contractors. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.