- Published on 19 October 2018
BigRentz, supplier of heavy equipment rentals, recently posted a piece on noise exposure for construction workers with a visual showing levels of exposure by type of noise source.
According to the piece, 30 million construction workers are exposed to prolonged hazardous noise on a regular basis. Unsurprisingly, 14% of all construction workers have hearing difficulties related to this noise exposure. The article references information sources such as the US Centers for Disease Control, the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health, and the Pocket Guide issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Almost all construction equipment is shown to be above the 85 dBA level, above which hearing damage is possible. From haul trucks, forklifts and nail guns to concrete saws and jackhammers, the noise level is clearly shown. The worst listed tools are the pile driver (115 dBA) and the hammer drill (120 dBA). The visual compares these sounds with everyday noise sources and shows that stadium noise, jet plane take-off, fireworks, firearms, and rocket launch are the rare sources of noise exposure higher than construction noise.
Noise exposure is also indicated by construction trade, along with average exposure levels in dBA and the loudest task in each trade. Iron workers are top of the list with 91.9 dBA, followed by carpenters, laborers, and masonry workers. Operating engineers and electricians follow close behind.