Vibration assessments: what are they?
Nowadays, workers are exposed to all types of risks. It does not matter whether a person works in an office or a kitchen, no one is completely safe from getting hurt. Nonetheless, some sectors are more prone to risks than others and the menaces themselves often vary in nature. Since the advent of industrialisation, especially machinery, there is a risk to which more and more manual workers are being exposed: vibrations. Unfortunately, this problem is often overlooked and some employers do not feel the need to carry out vibration assessments.
Acoustic vibration assessments and acoustic testing are necessary to a business for several reasons. These are as follows:
- Ensuring the health and safety of its employees who are exposed to vibration.
- Assessing the vibration risk on building damage.
- Providing commercial information on products.
When certain jobs are being carried out, people can be exposed to heavy vibrations for prolonged periods of time. It might not seem to be much of an ordeal in the first place, but this can lead to serious health issues. To prevent such things from happening, certain proactive measures can be taken. The only way to put this into place, though, is by executing a vibration assessment. The latter should be undertaken by the management and its objective is to help deciding what course of action to take to make sure that the workforce’s health and safety are not threatened. It is worth noting that it does not only concern companies’ wage-earners, but also people living in the vicinity that may also be affected.
How to evaluate the menace?
For an evaluation to be effective, it has to fulfill some conditions. Those are the following:
- It should pinpoint the locations on the premise that are likely to be subject to vibrations
- It should take into consideration the situations that might endanger the staff in that regard
- It must determine the laws that have to be complied with
- It has to single out personnel that may need health surveillance
For any size of development, the demolition, construction and operational phases have the potential to cause a vibration impact upon its neighbours. The impact may come in the form of structural damage to buildings, or more likely, annoyance to occupants or adverse effects on sensitive equipment.
Lighthouse Acoustics are able to undertake measurements of acoustic vibration sources and offer advice on mitigation measures in order to minimise the impact and exposure to vibration. Here are some of the vibration risk assessment testing services we specialise in:
Demolition / Piling / Construction Works
The demolition / piling / construction works for any project have the potential to cause a vibration impact upon its neighbours. Manned measurements or long term monitoring may be prudent in order to prove or disprove the level of vibration at neighbouring properties.
For new residential or commercial developments situated in close proximity to either over ground or underground train lines, vibration and structure borne noise levels need to be considered. If levels are considered to be excessive the isolation of the building at either basement or upper floor levels may be required in order to achieve acceptable levels for the occupants.
Whether it’s running machines, free weights or dance studios in gyms or bowling balls and pin-setting machinery in bowling alleys, vibration and structure borne sound can cause a serious annoyance to adjacent tenants. If not appropriately dealt with at the design stage this can have disastrous consequences once operational leading to the temporary closure of a business in order to undertake the necessary remedial works.
Effective acoustic vibration testing isolation of building services plant items is essential in order to minimise the transfer of vibration and structure borne sound to adjacent spaces. Suitable anti vibration mounts and flexible connections should be specified for all items with the potential for generation and control of vibration.
We also undertake measurements of vibration testing for extractive industries. For example, tremors caused by quarrying or hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) at nearby residential or commercial properties.
Health problems caused by shaking movements
There are several illnesses that are associated with such quivers. The most recurring one, however, is the Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, also known as HAVS or Raynaud’s phenomenon. The symptoms range from episodic numbing of fingertips to loss of grip strength as well as bone cysts. Vibrations affecting the whole body are also responsible for a number of other health problems. Here, the manifestations can be much more significant as they do not affect the hands and arms only. Some examples are:
- Continuous headaches
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Problems related to the stomach
- Muscular disorder
- Back problems
Those issues can be avoided, or at the very least minimised, by conducting vibration assessments.
Vibration Assessment Services
If you have any questions or would like to enquire about our acoustic vibration assessments services, get in touch today with Lighthouse Acoustics on 0161 457 0515 or you can email us directly at email@example.com. You can also find further information here on the importance of vibration assessments.