Spike’s Survival Guide – How to manage noise on site


As a tradie, loud noises are probably just a normal part of your day. But if you’re not keeping yourself protected, it could lead to serious hearing damage. So how loud is too loud? If you’re standing about a metre apart from someone and you’re having to yell to have a normal conversation over the noise, then it’s loud enough to cause harm.

Here’s how you can manage noise and protect yourself on site.

Reduce the noise

This might not actually be possible on site, but you can try a few different ways to lower the noise levels you’re exposed to. You can use less powerful tools (it might take longer but if it means your hearing isn’t damaged, it’s worth it!), wear proper ear protection, and keep any loud machinery away from walls or corners where it can bounce and echo.

Create a space for noise

If you’ve got machinery that is especially loud, make sure the space around it can trap any noise. It could be a separate room or enclosure, but it’ll work best if it has sealed windows and doors that can stop noise escaping. It should also have double glazed windows and walls, and be made of dense materials to keep noise in.

Do your research

If you’re looking to purchase some new equipment or machinery, make noise levels a priority. Compare which tools are the quietest whilst still being effective. You’ll be able to find this information from the manufacturer or supplier. You can also look into alternative materials to lessen the noise, such as rubber hammers rather than metal to free collars on falsework legs.

Use the right protection

If none of the above are options for you, at least get the best ear protection available. The trick with ear protection is not to cut out too much noise because that can lead to its own problems if you can’t hear any emergency instructions. Aim at least to get below 85 decibels at the ear, and make sure that all hearing protection equipment is fitted properly.

Related articles