Have you ever had to live near an active construction site? The continuous drilling, hammering, sawing and incessant beeping from loud machines can really wake you up on the wrong side of the bed. Although vital to continued urbanization, construction can get pretty annoying for local residents. But did you know it could also negatively affect their well-being?
Those who live near an active construction site know the struggle of dust floating around their neighbourhood. It seems to settle into everything. It very quickly makes its way into your home…and worse, into your lungs. The danger to your health occurs when there is an excess amount of dust entering your lungs. If you inhale a small amount of dust (which is normal), the dust is stopped by the filtration systems in your nose and throat. However, depending on the origin and volume of the dust, your natural filtration system may be unable to catch all of it, and it can make its way into your lungs. That could cause serious injuries and illnesses, depending on the source of the dust. Health concerns caused by dust run the gamut from pneumoconiosis (a general term meaning “dusty lung”) to illnesses as serious as lung cancer.
It is vital that you take measures to control the amount of dust coming from your work site in order to protect the well-being of the public. Employing dust control products such as debris netting, maintaining a tidy site, and using wet sawing applications where possible will significantly reduce the dust. Consider implementing an air filtration system to trap some of the dirt so it can be disposed of properly, rather than being dispersed through the air.
Not only can exposure to construction activity affect your breathing, it could also have a negative effect on your hearing. Your hearing is very important, and it is also very delicate. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause conditions such as tinnitus, which is a continuous ringing in your ears. Other effects include hearing loss, which could range from mild to severe. To read more about the effects of construction noise on your hearing health, see “Why You Should Care About Construction Noise“.
Construction noise can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Studies show that urbanized areas with high levels of noise pollution see greater instances of people with depression and other mental health illnesses. Excessive noise triggers the “fight or flight” part of our brain. The anxiety this causes can make it hard to relax, and in some cases can even cause heart problems.
There are several things you can do to combat noise pollution and its effect on the well-being of nearby residents. Municipal bylaws often prohibit construction work in the early morning and the evening, when people are most likely to be at home. However, you can also implement some type of noise mitigation system to help reduce noise being generated on site. Noise mitigation panels like Echo Barrier, that hang on your temporary perimeter fencing or around a loud generator can improve quality of life for people living near your construction site. Sound blankets are also a good solution.
In the construction industry, emphasis is placed on the idea of safety – for both workers and the public. Taking measures to lessen your impact on the well-being of the public should be a component of your commitment to safety. Living near an active construction site can be harmful for both mental and physical health, so have procedures and policies in place to help protect the public from exposure-related illness – just like you would for any other safety hazard.
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