Many individuals underestimate the impact that noise can have within an environment. This is particularly the case when referring to specific industries such as construction and demolition. The best way to mitigate the risks associated with high levels of noise is to perform a detailed preliminary assessment. Why are these studies utilised, what are they meant to diagnose and what are some of the issues that they will often entail? Let’s take a closer look at the answers to these three topics.
Why Will a Noise Impact Assessment be Performed?
Certain activities can cause a great deal of noise. Examples include (but are certainly not limited to) working with heavy machinery, demolition projects and drilling hard materials such as concrete. It is important to determine how these sounds will impact the nearby surroundings. For instance, sounds measured at over 100 decibels can damage one’s hearing after only 15 minutes.
The other concern involves the public and local infrastructure. For example, how disruptive will the noise be and could it cause dangerous situations (such as pedestrians being unable to hear approaching traffic)? It should also be pointed out that profound vibrations can sometimes affect the integrity of nearby structures. Therefore, a noise impact assessment is generally meant to address two concerns:
- Any potential risks on to-site employees.
- The associated dangers to the public and nearby structures.
What is Involved with a Typical Noise Impact Assessment?
Although the exact contents and metrics associated with a noise impact assessment can vary between organisations and stipulations, these studies still share a handful of concepts in common. First, specially trained experts will take acoustic readings of the associated location. This data is sometimes derived through calculations or theoretical estimates. Once all information has been obtained, it is analysed to make certain that the levels fall within current compliance regulations. The results are presented to the client in the form of a detailed report. It will include recommendations such as a Permissible Sound Level (PSL) as well as professional guidelines that should be followed.
These analyses are extremely important, as they will help to reduce risks to the public as well as to any employees. Of course, there are additional guidelines within a noise impact assessment report which should be appreciated. Please consult with Lighthouse Acoustics in order to learn more or if you happen to have further questions.