Noise pollution from construction sites is a common problem across Australia. In Victoria alone, about 400,000 people have their lives disrupted by construction noise annually.

Given that continuous exposure to noise can lead to stress and illness in the affected individuals, construction companies have a responsibility to ensure standards are in place to control noise emissions at their project sites. Governments have established laws to regulate noise levels at industrial sites and failure to adhere to these rules can result in the company being penalised through fines or even subjected to litigation claims.

Abiding by the law is one aspect of this issue; companies must also show consideration to their immediate neighbours who are exposed to the noise, and also be aware of the environmental consequences of noise pollution. Applying internal standards will help companies control noise within their operations, benefitting not only their own employees, but also their neighbours and the environment.

Noise control in action

Well-known construction company, Allroads approached Flexshield for an effective sound control solution to address the noise challenges at their Ballin Drive project site in Toowoomba. Allroads was building a detention basin and high noise levels were being emitted from pumps on the site. Though the noise generated by the pumps was within safe levels, it was still disruptive for the residents in the neighbourhood.

Allroads procured 14 acoustic curtains (sound blankets) on hire from Flexshield for use throughout the construction period. Acoustic curtains combine sound barrier and noise absorptive technologies into a lightweight and highly effective noise control product.

The sonic curtains were attached to temporary fencing to create a complete sound barrier around the noise source. Allroads was satisfied with the outcome of the installation with the site experiencing a measured decrease of 11.2dB in sound levels. The neighbours were also very happy with the marked reduction in noise at the project site.

It is essential that companies facing noise issues at their worksites comply with government legislation, provide safe and enjoyable working conditions for employees, and minimise their impact on the environment and surrounding communities. Acoustic curtains are not just ideal for construction companies, but can also be used in any plant or workshop.