There are countless reasons why mitigating vibrations is essential when it comes to construction work, with the main one being to keep plans and daily operations uninterrupted from public complaints. From power tools to heavy machinery and vehicles, these various pieces of equipment produce a significant amount of vibration, thus requiring a solution to help maintain construction vibration limits. In this article, we go over why excess vibration is undesirable in the construction sector and the anti-vibration products and techniques that can mitigate this issue.
Risks associated with equipment-induced vibrations
- Health risks
Excessive exposure to vibrations poses significant health risks to workers. The main concern is that their hands’ nerves and blood vessels could be damaged over time, leading to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) and Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). These conditions typically exhibit overlapping symptoms, including loss of strength, tingling, numbness, and pain.
Preventing these conditions requires significantly minimising excessive vibrations where possible, which is why employers are now bound by law to comply with the HSE regulation Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005, which quantifies two important levels of vibration:
1. Exposure Action Value (EAV, 2.5m/s2) – employers must implement technical and operational measures to mitigate exposure.
2. Exposure Limit Value (ELV, 5.0m/s2) – should not be exceeded in any case.
- Public complaints
Apart from the noise, construction can often generate significant vibrations that reach the surrounding community. It is vital to remember that complaints usually occur when these byproducts of construction operations directly interfere with the community’s daily activities. Moreover, it is worth noting that it is usually the contractor’s responsibility to deal with any construction vibration damage that may affect surrounding buildings, hence the importance of keeping vibration levels below damage thresholds.
Popular solutions for controlling construction site vibrations
The types of equipment and machinery used in major construction, off-highway, and mining industries particularly experience incredibly high levels of mechanically-induced vibration and thus require isolating their impact stresses. Below are some anti-vibration mounts and solutions commonly used in these sectors.
- Rubber dampers
Also known as rectangular buffers, these devices chiefly reduce shock transmissions to surrounding structures by routing them to a rubber absorber that can effectively deflect the load. These dampers are made of a robust rubber material bonded to a metal plate with several fixing holes for ease of installation. Rubber dampers come in a wide range of rubber compounds and metal types to suit various applications.
- Isolation mounts
Isolation mounts facilitate relatively high static deflections and effectively isolate against low disturbing frequencies, making them perfect for reducing vibrations in ventilation and air conditioning units.
- Compactor mounts
Compactor mounts are specifically designed for the compaction industry and their applications that heavily require reducing vibration and impacted forces via isolation. These mounts typically use special and durable rubber compounds that can withstand very high shear and compression forces. Examples of other products in this range include waisted mounts, roller mounts, and drum mounts, which are indispensable for machinery like plate compactors, ride-on rollers, walk-behind rollers, ride-on rollers, and towed rollers.
From community complaints and worker health risks to potential damage to surrounding structures, countless negatives come from keeping vibrations unchecked. By using the right type of anti-vibration mount for your applications and projects, construction companies can keep these issues at bay and prevent them from getting in the way of their plans.
Need any of the anti-vibration solutions mentioned above? Then look no further than Pharmchem Engineering, your one-stop shop for a wide range of high-quality anti-vibration mounts and other industrial engineering supplies, including dry disconnect couplings, expansion joints, pipe pigging equipment, and many more. With our commitment to providing reliable and proven industrial engineering supplies, you can rest assured that all our solutions, both off-the-shelf and custom-made, are guaranteed to meet your requirements and perform beyond expectations.