Construction noise monitoring: minimising disruptions and ensuring compliance

15 May 2024

Construction projects are a vital part of urban development and infrastructure improvement, but they can also be a significant source of noise pollution.

Excessive noise generated by construction activities can disrupt the lives of nearby residents and businesses, leading to complaints and potential actions from local authorities.

To address these concerns, effective noise monitoring solutions are essential for construction sites to identify, control, and reduce noise, while ensuring compliance with regulations and maintaining positive community relations.

The impact of on-site noise 

Noisevibration, and dust monitoring are essential for construction sites for several reasons. Firstly, they help to minimise the environmental impact of construction activities, ensuring that sites operate within acceptable limits and minimise their impact on nearby communities, ecosystems, and sensitive receptors. Secondly, monitoring these parameters allows construction site operators to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, avoiding potential fines, penalties, or legal issues.

Additionally, regular monitoring and management of noise, vibration, and dust demonstrate a commitment to being a responsible neighbour and help maintain positive community relations by addressing concerns and reducing disturbances.  

To ensure safety, it’s important to establish preventative measures that limit exposure to harmful levels of noise. These measures should be clearly outlined in the health and safety document, and regular monitoring should be conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of these controls.

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations require employers to ensure that construction workers are protected against frequent exposure to high noise levels by following the ‘Assess, Control and Review model‘. Guidance is available from the HSE; see document Noise at work: a brief guide to controlling the risks.

Monitoring solutions for construction noise 

To address these challenges, noise monitoring solutions are employed to provide accurate readings and reports, which are used to report disturbances to surrounding areas and noise levels for onsite workers. These solutions are applied to a multitude of areas including construction and demolition projects, piling activities, party wall monitoring, dynamic compaction activities, and boundary noise assessments.

By continuously recording noise levels and generating reports, these solutions help construction site operators to proactively manage and mitigate noise disturbances, ensuring the well-being of workers and nearby communities.  

Available options for noise monitoring

Construction and boundary monitoring options range from hand-held sound level meters such as the Svantek SV971a sound level meter to continuous monitoring systems such as the Svantek SV307A class 1 noise monitoring station, the Casella Environmental noise kit and – to monitor both dust and noise on site – the TSI DustTrak & SoundPro Remote Dust & Noise Monitor developed by Ashtead Technology. These can be rented from Ashtead Technology. If you prefer to own, purchase options are also available. These monitoring solutions provide health & safety managers and construction site operators with the flexibility to choose the most suitable monitoring option based on the specific needs and scale of their projects. Rental equipment is also stocked in significant quantities to support with large scale monitoring and inspection schedules.

In conclusion, effective noise monitoring solutions are crucial for construction sites to minimise their adverse effects, protect the health and well-being of workers and nearby communities, and ensure compliance with regulations and environmental standards. By investing in comprehensive noise monitoring solutions, construction site operators and health & safety managers can proactively manage and mitigate noise disturbances, ensuring that construction activities proceed responsibly and sustainably while maintaining positive community relations.

With a variety of applications for noise monitoring, appropriate technology must be employed, therefore the Ashtead Technology equipment fleet has been developed to meet almost every need, and technical advice is available to help consultants and site managers ensure that noise pollution, as well as vibration and air quality hazards, are effectively managed.

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