We're moving content over from an older government website. We'll align this page with the ontario.ca style guide in future updates.
Appendix D: Noise in construction, mining, farming and firefighting operations
Noise in construction
There are many noisy tasks in construction. Some of the main sources of noise in construction include: impacting tools (such as concrete breakers); use of explosives (such as blasting, cartridge tools); pneumatically powered equipment and internal combustion engines. Sinclair and Haflidson of the Construction Safety Association of Ontario (now known as Infrastructure Health and Safety Association) studied construction noise in Ontario. Their study in early 1990’s included various construction categories involving 27 construction projects and contractors’ facilities in Ontario. Noise dosimetry measurements from this study revealed the following: thermal electric generating plant refurbishing (107.7 dBA); gravel plant work (100.7 dBA); sewer/water main work (98.8 dBA), maintenance in a building (95.2 dBA), sheet metal fabrication (94.9 dBA), road and bridge construction (93.2 dBA) and residential construction (93.1 dBA).
In addition, the following chart provides noise levels in dBA associated with the operation of equipment found on construction sites.
|Equipment||Noise Level (dBA) at Operator's Position|
|Cranes||78 – 103|
|Backhoes||85 – 104|
|Loaders||77 – 106|
|Dozers||86 – 106|
|Scrapers||97 – 112|
|Trenchers||95 – 99|
|Pile drivers||119 – 125|
|Compactors||90 – 112|
|Grinders||106 – 110|
|Chainsaws||100 – 115|
|Concrete saw||97 – 103|
|Sand blasting nozzle||111 – 117|
|Jackhammers||100 – 115|
|Compressors||85 – 104|
Noise in mining
Most of the of exposure to noise in mining comes from the need to use heavy machinery underground, but careful design and new technology and materials can be used to minimize this. Noise assessment in mining plants need to identify noise sources in order to effectively apply the hierarchy of controls. The table below provides some noise sources and exposures in mines and mining plants.
|Noise Source||Range (dB)||Midpoint|
|Cutting machines||83 – 93||88|
|Locomotives (electrical)||85 – 95||90|
|Haulage truck||90 – 100||95|
|Loaders||95 – 100||98|
|Long-wall shearers||96 – 101||99|
|Chain conveyors||97 – 100||99|
|Continuous miners||97 – 103||100|
|Loader-dumper||97 – 102||100|
|Fans||90 – 110||100|
|Pneumatic percussion tools||114 – 120||117|
Noise in farming (agriculture industry)
Sources of hazardous noise in the farming/agriculture industry include machinery, equipment and livestock.
|Noise Source||Range (dB)|
|Chicken Coop; conventional voices||60-70|
|Tractor idling; conveyors||80|
|Diesel Trucks; Power Lawn Mowers||95|
Noise and firefighting operations
|Job description/source||Average noise levels|
|Maximum noise levels|
|Vehicle extraction (chisels/spreaders)||90–106||98–115|
|Fire suppression (ladders/water pumps)||89–91||84–98|
|Fire station (testing alarm/tools/engine)||88–101||92–116|
|Fire station (break room)||67||68|
- footnote Back to paragraph Source: IHSA’s Construction Health and Safety Manual, Chapter 14: Hearing Protection
- footnote Back to paragraph Generally, newer equipment is quieter than older equipment.
- footnote Back to paragraph Pile drivers and explosive-actuated tools generate intermittent or “impulse” sound.
- footnote Back to paragraph Source: McBride, D (2004).Noise-induced hearing loss and hearing conservation in mining. Journal of Occupational Medicine, Vol. 54 (5).
- footnote Back to paragraph Source: WSPS Publication – Agricultural Safety Topics – Protecting Against Noise.
- footnote Back to paragraph Source: NIOSH Publication, “Promoting Hearing Health among Fire Fighters”.