• The construction industry is one of the leading sources of noise complaints made to local authorities
  • Something is considered noisy when the sound is unwanted by the listener
  • Noise and vibration emissions can disturb local residents and give rise to complaints and delays
  • Noisy activities include: excavation, tunnelling, concrete cutting, piling, using un-silenced generators and concrete pours.
  • WHY?

  • Avoid environmental harm: noise can disturb wildlife as well as humans
  • Avoid prosecution: failing to meet noise constraints can result in fines
  • Avoid programme delay: the local authority have the power to stop works if noise from the site is causing a nuisance
  • Avoid structural damage: vibration may cause structural damage
  • Public relations: avoid complaints and maintain good relations with the local community.

    1 Are there areas where undue noise might cause annoyance to anyone?


    • If possible, restrict noisy activities to certain times of the day adhere to working hours – some sites are only consented to work at certain times
    • Plan deliveries by arranging routes and times to minimise potential nuisance to the local community
    • If possible, keep noisy plant away from public areas minimise drop heights into hoppers, lorries and other plant
    • Use local screening where necessary
    • Noise can be reduced if a screen is placed between plant and a nearby sensitive location, ie house
    • Screens can be straw bales or ply board
    • Use silenced generators and tower lights where necessary
    • Keep acoustic doors, hoods and panels on plant closed – it does make a difference
    • 2 Think about what unduly noisy operations are being undertaken on this project?


      3 Where might vibration cause a problem?

      4 What precautions can be taken to reduce noise and vibration on this site?

    • Minimise vehicles and plant reversing – plan work to incorporate one way systems if in doubt, contact a line manager.


    • Undertake noisy works outside of normal working hours, in the evening, at night or early in the morning
    • Leave doors and hoods open on plant
    • Leave plant running unnecessarily
    • Use poorly maintained plant
    • Ignore complaints from the local community. Respond politely and pass the complaint onto a line manager
    • Shout or talk loudly where this could cause annoyance
    • Undertake activities that could cause damage to nearby structures through vibration unless approved by a line manager

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