NOISE AND VIBRATION
Noise and Vibration
Quiet is necessary for a healthy society. However, our modern industrialised civilisation produces noise and vibration with the potential to harm us. Workers must protect themselves from the noise and vibration generated by the tools and equipment necessary to earn their living. Employers must help them to achieve this.
Industrial and construction site operators need to control their noise and vibration emissions to maintain peaceful coexistence with residents whose complaints might interfere with the smooth running of an operator's business. Developers need to create buildings that achieve acoustic environments commensurate with their design aspirations.
Occupational Noise and Vibration
From 2001–02 to 2014–15 there were 65,300 accepted claims for deafness in Australia. This was an average of 4,700 per year (Safe Work Australia 2019)
Loud noise damages hearing. Noise induced hearing loss is one of the most commensurable industrial injuries and represents a significant social and economic burden for Australian workers. High vibration from tools and vehicles damages the musculoskeletal system.
Workers must adopt good working practices to control their noise and vibration exposures in the workplace. Employers must provide workers with equipment, information and training to achieve this. Noise and vibration control at the workplace can improve employee morale, increase quality of production, reduce the incidence of stress-related disease and reduce employer exposure to compensation claims.
Hibbs provides the following services to help you control noise and vibration in the workplace and comply with your legal requirements:
- Noise and vibration exposure assessments
- Noise and vibration management plans
- Walk through audits and follow up assessments
Noise is the creation of sound waves which go through the air and then bombard and invade the property and persons of others. (Rothbard et al., 2006)
Business operators need to accept that there are places and times into which their noise and vibration cannot intrude. Nevertheless, it is unreasonable for residents moving to an area with existing noise and vibration pollution and impose restrictions on how an operator continues their business.
Unlike many other pollutants, noise pollution depends not just on the physical aspects of the sound itself, but also the human reaction to it. A soundscape is an ‘acoustic environment as perceived or experienced and/or understood by a person or people, in context’. Familiar natural sounds where we live, and work provide us with an important aural sense of place.
Our Principal Acoustician has over 20-years of experience and understanding of environmental noise measurement and propagation behaviours. Our acoustics assessments combine robust technical measurements and predictions with a narrative to describe implications to the local soundscape. We provide the following services to help business operators remain compliant with regulations:
- Community (environmental) noise and vibration assessments
- Assistance with Development Applications
- Compliance audits
- Complaint investigations
- Noise and vibration sensitive development
If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. (Nikola Tesla)
It is natural for residents to be alarmed when they feel vibration in their homes. For example, when a construction site starts up nearby. However, levels are usually well below what can cause damage. Nevertheless, it is best practice for site operators to adopt reasonable and feasible controls to minimise disturbance and damage to neighbours and their property. Predicting what the vibration levels might be and telling residents what to expect can help reduce complaints when work starts. Monitoring throughout works provides reassurance to residents and the site operator that vibration levels are not excessive and minimise the risk of claims for damages.
Our Principal Acoustician has conducted vibration assessments of a wide range of sources and sensitive receptors. These include:
- Percussive, vibratory, bored and press-in piling vibration on houses
- Ground improvement (NRG Tamping) vibration on houses
- Foundation slab demolition (hydraulic breaking) vibration on sensitive manufacturing (contact lenses)
- Manufacturing drop-forge vibration on sensitive manufacturing (CNC mills)
- Construction vibration effects on bank mainframes in London's financial district
- Foundation piling vibration on reconstruction Iron Age round houses
- Oil exploration seismic sources on aged oil pipeline infrastructure, African vernacular buildings and megafauna (elephants and giraffes)
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