1972-02-01

Construction Noise, A Citizen's Viewpoint 720625

Construction noise accompanying the rehabilitation of old and the development of new transportation modes is extremely destructive to the quality of life, and the environment. With few exceptions, industry has failed to internalize the cost of unmuffled equipment and procedures, and the cost of this intense noise exposure is an “external cost” borne by both the worker and the exposed public. Engine equipment manufacturers, contractors, and project sponsors resist design for quiet. Engineers have an ethical imperative to protect the noise receiver. Citizen demand for quieter construction is growing and a few manufacturers are voluntarily marketing quieter compressors and paving breakers. Government, on all levels, is beginning to raise the question of unlimited noise emissions. The Walsh Healey noise exposure limits are now applicable to construction operations. Industry should be given financial incentives and assistance to expedite the necessary change-over to design and operation for quiet.

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