Toolbox Talk – Environmental – Noise & Vibration





  • The construction industry is one of the leading sources of noise complaints made to local authorities.
  • Something is considered “noisy” when the sound is unwanted by the listener.
  • Noise and vibration emissions can disturb local residents and give rise to complaints and delays.
  • Noisy activities include: excavation, tunnelling, concrete cutting, piling, using un-silenced generators and concrete pours.
  • WHY?

  • Avoid environmental harm: noise can disturb wildlife as well as humans.
  • Avoid prosecution: failing to meet noise constraints can result in fines.
  • Avoid programme delay: the local authority have the power to stop works if noise from the site is causing a nuisance.
  • Avoid structural damage: vibration may cause structural damage.
  • Public relations: avoid complaints and maintain good relations with the local community.
  • Take a moment to look at the site in the picture below:

    Noisy Site


  • Are there areas where undue noise might cause annoyance to anyone?
  • What unduly noisy operations are being undertaken on this project?
  • Where might vibration cause a problem?
  • What precautions can be taken to reduce noise and vibration on this site?
  • Minimise vehicles and plant reversing – plan work to incorporate one way systems.

    If in doubt, contact a line manager.


  • If possible, restrict noisy activities to certain times of the day.
  • Adhere to working hours – some sites are only consented to work at certain times.
  • Plan deliveries by arranging routes and times to minimise potential nuisance to the local community.
  • If possible, keep noisy plant away from public areas.
  • Minimise drop heights into hoppers, lorries and other plant.
  • Use local screening where necessary ? noise can be reduced if a screen is placed between plant and a nearby sensitive location, ie house screens can be straw bales or ply board.
  • Use silenced generators and tower lights where necessary.
  • Keep acoustic doors, hoods and panels on plant closed – it does make a difference.
  • DONT

  • Undertake noisy works outside of normal working hours, in the evening, at night or early in the morning.
  • Leave doors and hoods open on plant.
  • Leave plant running unnecessarily.
  • Use poorly maintained plant.
  • Ignore complaints from the local community. Respond politely and pass the complaint onto a line manager.
  • Shout or talk loudly where this could cause annoyance.
  • Undertake activities that could cause damage to nearby structures through vibration unless approved by a line manager.

Acknowledgement Slip

First Name
Phone Number
Email Address
Company Division
Do You Have Any Questions? *