Vibration Risk Assessment
Lighthouse Acoustic Consultants provide vibration assessments and surveys for construction projects to identify any potential issues in projects. Potential vibration problems include vibration induced noise problems, vibration induced structural damage, vibration induced surface cracking and more.
Each project is different so the Lighthouse team will work with engineers, architects, building owners etc to ensure that vibrations are kept at an acceptable level during all stages of a project from earthworks through to completion. The Lighthouse Acoustics vibration engineer will carry out on site measurements with vibration equipment such as accelerometers laser vibrometers or ground penetrating radar. Ground vibration monitoring may be used according to the circumstances of each particular site and after discussions about options available for vibration monitoring to take place in a particular project.
Lighthouse Acoustics provide vibration surveys for construction projects to identify any potential issues with vibration levels during the build. Our vibration specialists will check vibration levels using vibration equipment on all types of building work including piling, groundworks, demolition and excavation, tunnelling or excavation from new development sites.
While vibration can be monitored at each site frequently, it is more common for vibration testing to be undertaken post-construction such as when foundation piles have been installed before concrete is poured or if there are concerns about vibration from tunnel boring machines at the surface level. Lighthouse Acoustic offer expert advice based on our knowledge of compliance guidance which is used by many established organisations who rely on our vibration assessments and vibration reports as a vital part of their safety process.
Our vibration monitoring services include vibration monitoring during tunnelling, vibration surveys for new developments, vibration assessment, vibration measurements at building sites (post-construction), construction vibration testing and vibration advice services.
Vibration assessments: what are they?
Nowadays, workers are exposed to all types of vibration risks. It does not matter whether a person works in an office or a kitchen, no one is completely safe from getting hurt. Nonetheless, some sectors are more prone to vibration risks than others and the menaces themselves often vary in nature. Since the advent of industrialisation, especially machinery, there is a risk to which more and more manual workers are being exposed: vibrations. Unfortunately, this problem is often overlooked and some employers do not feel the need to carry out a vibration risk assessment.
Acoustic vibration assessments and acoustic testing are necessary to a business for several reasons. These are as follows:
- Ensuring the health and safety of its employees who are exposed to vibration.
- Assessing the vibration risk of building damage.
- Providing commercial information on products.
When certain jobs are being carried out, people can be exposed to heavy vibrations for prolonged periods of time. It might not seem to be much of an ordeal in the first place, but this can lead to serious health issues. To prevent such things from happening, certain proactive measures can be taken. The only way to put this into place, though, is by executing a vibration risk assessment. The latter should be undertaken by the management and its objective is to help decide what course of action to take to make sure that the workforce’s health and safety are not threatened. It is worth noting that it does not only concern companies’ wage-earners, but also people living in the vicinity that may also be affected.
How to evaluate the menace?
For an evaluation to be effective, it has to fulfil some conditions. Those are the following:
- It should pinpoint the locations on the premise that are likely to be subject to vibrations
- It should take into consideration the situations that might endanger the staff in that regard
- It must determine the laws that have to be complied with
- It has to single out personnel that may need health surveillance
For any size of the development, the demolition, construction and operational phases have the potential to cause a vibration impact on its neighbours. The impact may come in the form of structural damage to buildings, or more likely, an annoyance to occupants or adverse effects on sensitive equipment.
Lighthouse Acoustics are able to undertake measurements of acoustic vibration sources and offer advice on mitigation measures in order to minimise the impact and exposure limit value to vibration. Knowing the exposure limit value is vital in the construction industry to ensure workers operate safely. It is an indicator of how much vibration a person may be put through on any given day. The hand-arm vibration exposure limit (ELV) is 5 m/s2 or 8 A, which signifies that any higher level of vibration has a high risk and should not be exposed to vibration.
Here are some of the vibration risk assessment testing services we specialise in:
Demolition / Piling / Construction Works
The demolition/piling/construction works for any project have the potential to cause a vibration impact on its neighbours. Manned measurements or long-term monitoring may be prudent in order to prove or disprove the level of vibration at neighbouring properties.
For new residential or commercial developments situated in close proximity to either over ground or underground train lines, vibration and structure borne noise levels need to be considered. If levels are considered to be excessive the isolation of the building at either basement or upper floor levels may be required in order to achieve acceptable levels for the occupants.
Whether it’s running machines, free weights or dance studios in gyms or bowling balls and pin-setting machinery in bowling alleys, vibration and structure borne sound can cause a serious annoyance to adjacent tenants. If not appropriately dealt with at the design stage this can have disastrous consequences once operational leading to the temporary closure of a business in order to undertake the necessary remedial works.
Effective acoustic vibration testing isolation of building services plant items is essential in order to minimise the transfer of vibration and structure borne sound to adjacent spaces. Suitable anti vibration mounts and flexible connections should be specified for all items with the potential for generation and control of vibration.
We also undertake measurements of vibration testing for extractive industries. For example, tremors caused by quarrying or hydraulic fracturing (better known as fracking) at nearby residential or commercial properties.
Health problems caused by shaking movements
There are several illnesses that are associated with such quivers. The most recurring one, however, is the Hand Arm Vibration Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, also known as HAVS or Raynaud’s phenomenon. The symptoms range from episodic numbing of fingertips to loss of grip strength as well as bone cysts. As well as hand arm vibration syndrome, a vibration of living areas by heavy machinery can also lead to :
– Hidradenitis suppurativa (acute staphylococcal abscesses in the armpits and groin)
- Lymphoedema (swelling of soft tissues due to blockage of the lymphatic system)
- Pain from vibration white finger (a vibration related injury causing pain in the fingertips)
- Tenosynovitis (pain due to vibration which can cause joint inflammation and tendon damage)
Vibration monitoring of construction projects is a mandatory obligation for all construction site owners. This is so they can assess if vibration levels are exceeding vibration thresholds or risk vibration exposure to the public.
Vibrations affecting the whole body are also responsible for a number of other health problems. Here, the manifestations can be much more significant than hand arm vibration as they do not affect the hands and arms only.
Some examples are:
- Continuous headaches
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Problems related to the stomach
- Muscular disorder
- Back problems
Those issues can be avoided, or at the very least minimised, by conducting hand arm vibration risk assessment services.
Vibration Assessment Services
If you have any questions or would like to enquire about our acoustic vibration assessments services, get in touch today with Lighthouse Acoustics on 0161 457 0515 or you can email us directly at email@example.com. You can also find further information here on the importance of vibration assessments.