Construction Noise Monitoring
The construction sector and its wide range of associated activities are very varied and, from a noise monitoring perspective, offer many unique challenges. However, Pulsar Instruments plc have a solution: a Pulsar construction noise sound level meter with the ability to effectively access the following two key categories:
• Noise at Work (potential for noise-induced hearing loss due to sudden or long term exposure to noisy activities)
• Environmental Noise (the potential to cause annoyance to surrounding areas during construction work)
Both of these key areas can be assessed by Pulsar Instruments' fully compliant, accurate, easy to use and, most importantly, robust construction noise monitoring and measurement equipment to help you address these particular noise issues effectively.
The Construction Industry is different from, for example, factory and manufacturing because work patterns vary considerably and projects can last from a few days to a few years.
Basic noise level checks (Noise at work or Environmental):
Often on site you need to take quick decisions and understand if there are likely to be any noise issues. By using a simple ‘sound level meter’ such as the Pulsar Model 14 you have a cost effective, ideal, compact and ‘easy to use’ instrument that can be transported from site to site allowing you to make a quick judgement regarding noise levels.
This is particularly useful where a more expensive instrument would be cumbersome and more prone to the risk of on-site damage or misuse. The Model 14, low cost noise meter is supplied with a carrying pouch, windshield as standard to protect the microphone capsule and has two selectable ranges to allow you to quickly gauge both environmental and industrial level noises.
The instrument is a Class 2 sound level meter which is perfectly acceptable to conduct noise assessments under the current noise regulations. It is fully compliant with IEC 61672 and can be supplied with an acoustic calibrator if you wish to verify the accuracy of your measurements.
Noise at Work
The robust, simple to use and ‘no-nonsense' approach provided by the Assessor range, Industrial Sound Level Meters, allows even inexperienced users to quickly take sensible measurements that allow you to ensure that your workforce is protected from the effects of excessive construction noise exposure. For example, the Model 82CA Assessor noise measurement kit provides you with all the tools required to carry out your noise risk assessments. It cost effectively and accurately determine suitable hearing protection with its special ‘C minus A’ measurement mode.
You can quickly refer to the HML values provided by the hearing protection manufacturer for specific muffs, inserts etc and by using a simple spreadsheet (HSE), ensure you are not over or under protecting your employees.
We also recommend that you consult our latest range of Nova sound level meters and, in particular, our Model 45 (Class 1) and 46 (Class 2) which are the premium instruments of this range and suitable for boundary and environmental noise measurements.
This is crucial on a busy site as ‘over protection’ can isolate workers who may not be able to hear alarms or communicate effectively. Being badly injured by moving plant or objects because you can’t hear what is happening (or warnings from colleagues) is something that can easily be avoided. Monitoring their noise levels giving an overall exposure at the end of each working day. The NoiseBadge system is also very useful in almost all Noise at Work applications, especially as it is so small that it does not interfere with work patterns.
We have produced a short Guide for Employers entitled: '5 Steps to Controlling Workplace Noise'. The document looks at the various duties under the Control of Noise Regulations (2005). You can download a free copy by clicking on the link.
Noise assessments or environmental noise monitoring can be undertaken at many levels from a simple ‘spot check’ measurement (to determine if there is the likelihood of a problem) to a continuous monitoring system (to ensure continued compliance with local authority recommendations). An excellent instrument for both Industrial noise and environmental noise applications is the Pulsar Quantifier range of sound level meters, which is used on many UK sites to measure construction noise. Another instrument which may be of interest to safety professionals is the new Pulsar Nova, the premium sound level meter from this latest range which is particularly suited for Environmental noise assessments.
Simple spot check
It is often useful to determine that potentially noisy activities are not likely to reach excessive levels at sensitive boundary positions (usually nearby local domestic housing or offices). The Model 14 would be a low cost solution for this type of construction noise monitoring. The powerful Class 1 Model 33 sound level meter allows you to compare average noise levels at boundary positions against the L90 (typical background noise levels). The Pulsar Nova Models 41 and 42 are also suited for basic noise level assessments.
Single or repeated ‘fixed duration’ measurements
In some cases, a handheld instrument such as the Pulsar Quantifier Model 95 (Class 1) or Model 95 (Class 2) would be mounted on a tripod at a boundary position and, for example, a 15 minute measurement made. Often it is necessary to make a continuous series of similar ‘fixed duration’ measurements and store these into the instrument’s memory for which the Pulsar Model 33 is ideal.
In some cases, noise sources such as extraction fans and wind turbines can cause annoyance at specific frequencies. It is often a requirement to monitor real time 1:3 Octave Band noise levels to determine when these events are occurring and the likelihood of annoyance.
There are many engineering solutions available to reduce noise levels and by performing a 1:3 Octave Band Analysis before and after this work you can determine and report the effectiveness of such improvements.