The Importance of Mitigating Construction Vibration

Amidst the hustle and bustle at construction sites, there is a commonly overlooked issue that can have significant consequences: construction vibration.

Lots of common equipment used by construction workers generates vibrations. If not managed, they can pose significant risks to nearby structures, the environment and even worker safety.

Today, we at AV Industrial Products are offering an insight into what, exactly, construction vibration is. Moreover, we are going to explore the reasons why it is vitally important that vibration mitigation strategies exist.

What Is Construction Vibration?

Simply put, construction vibration is the name given to the oscillatory motion generated by various construction activities. Common examples include heavy machinery operation, drilling and blasting.

Ground-borne vibrations are common from these activities, which can travel and impact nearby structures. Vibration levels are typically measured in terms of velocity (inches per second or millimetres per second) and frequency (measured in Hertz).

Construction vibration damage is very much real and can pose significant issues for workers and the integrity of structures. We explore some of the most common mitigation measures below.

Control Measures for Vibration in Construction Sites and Why They’re Vital

The need for control measures for vibration in construction sitesis hugely important. Without effective mitigation strategies, the health of workers can, in some cases, be compromised. Moreover, the success of the particular operation is dependent on both creating and implementing said strategies.

Without preventing construction vibration, you compromise the following:

Structural Integrity

Without controlling and managing construction vibration

you are less likely to preserve the structural integrity of nearby buildings and infrastructure.

Vibration from heavy machinery, for example, can create cracks, foundation damage and even structural collapse in weaker structures. This is especially true for protected or historic properties, which may feature weaker foundations.

Moreover, critical infrastructure can suffer the same fate. Whilst these structures are often designed with strict tolerances, unmitigated vibration can still lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Proper mitigation measures, such as anti-vibration mounts, can help protect these valuable assets, also ensuring a minimal amount of damage or disruption.

Public Safety

Vibrations that go unmanaged can lead to accidents on construction sites, especially when heavy equipment is involved. Also, if we consider the above point then injury or loss of life is likely for residents, workers or passersby.

Finally, workers are susceptible to safety compromises if handling equipment that produces vibration without PPE or mitigation advice. We have touched on this area before, notably in our article on hand-arm vibration.

To recap, workers are at risk of contracting musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss and other health-related issues. Creating a culture around vibration management and putting strategies in place is fundamentally important.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

In many countries and places around the world, regulatory bodies have established compliance protocols for construction vibration limits. If a company is found to be in breach of these, it results in fines and significant project delays. This is the last thing construction companies want, especially for larger commercial projects. Thus, implementing mitigation measures ensures compliance and, most importantly, keeps project deadlines and budgets under control.

Preservation of Reputation

The company’s reputation as a reliable and compliant vendor can be damaged for the above, and below, reasons. If managers and site overseers do not do everything in their power to control construction vibration limits, it can damage relationships with suppliers, vendors and contractors. It may even impact the ability to capture future business opportunities.

Environmental Impact

When thinking about the impact of vibration, it is important to not only consider structural compromises but also compromises to the environment.

Animals, in particular, can be significantly affected by excessive vibration or construction vibration damage.

As a site manager, you have a responsibility to provide effective mitigation measures. Doing so is crucial for preserving the natural environment and alleviating ecological disturbances.

Cost Savings

In order to make a healthy return on any construction project, it is important to streamline operations and ensure efficiency.

Without controlling vibration, you run the risk of repair costs for nearby structures as well as non-compliance fines. From a commercial perspective, it is in your best interest to strategise and tackle vibration head on.

Helping You Tackle Construction Vibration Damage

The importance of managing construction vibration cannot be underestimated. In our experience, as a leading supplier and distributor of anti vibration components, it is vital for ensuring public safety, structural integrity and better returns from your project.

Moreover, it keeps you and your organisation in compliance with important legal requirements.

If you are a construction company and require consultative guidance on remaining compliant, we can help you. Over our years of trade, we have supported companies in a range of capacities: from offering consultative counsel to supplying specific anti vibration products.

If you would like to chat to a member of our team, contact us