THE BUILDING Safety Group (BSG) has reported a 25% increase in the number of noise infringements occurring on construction sites.
BSG’s report was the result of 10,000 independent site inspections conducted during the first half of 2019 which compared Q1 with Q2.
According to the BSG, 17,000 people in the UK suffer deafness, ringing in the ears or other ear conditions caused by excessive noise at work. The Group has also stressed that exposure to high noise levels can cause permanent hearing damage for construction workers, without the sufferer becoming aware of the problem until it’s too late. It can often lead to tinnitus or even deafness. Noise can also be a serious safety hazard at work, interfering with communication and making warnings harder to hear.
The HSE estimates that more than 2 million people in Great Britain were exposed to unacceptable levels of noise at work. Noise induced hearing loss is the second most common reason for employers’ liabilities claims for Occupational Health.
Chris Chapman, Technical Support Manager for the Building Safety Group commented: “Exposure to many different sources of noise on a construction site has a cumulative effect and cause damage, even if a worker is only exposed to a single source for short periods of time.”
Chris added, “Workers are also at risk if they have muffled hearing at the end of the day, even if it is better by the next morning. There is no need for hearing to be damaged – under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, employers have a duty to protect workers and take steps to reduce the risk.”