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Building sites

There are several public health factors that need to be considered when establishing and operating a building site.

Noise

Although noise on construction sites is often unavoidable, it can often be controlled using improved work practices. The responsible person, being the owner, occupier or contractor must take all reasonable and practicable measures to minimise noise.

Steps to reduce noise can include:

  • waiting to commence particularly noisy activity until after 9am
  • ensuring equipment is shut down or throttled down when not in use
  • fitting noise reduction devices where possible
  • keeping radios no louder than necessary
  • locating noisy equipment as far away from neighbouring properties as possible

For more information, download an Adobe PDF copy of the EPA fact sheet on Construction noise.

Preventing stormwater and air pollution

Construction disturbs soil and creates dust, noise and debris.

Run-off from a building site travels down the gutters and drains to creeks, and eventually ends up in a river, lake, or the sea. Dust from building sites can affect air quality, soil neighbouring properties and potentially block drains and sediment training systems. Litter from building sites can blow around  and waste can occur when materials are not recycled properly.

Pollutants from building sites can include

  • soil, clay, gravel or sand
  • wastewater from brick, bitumen or concrete cutting
  • building construction waste
  • building washwater
  • concrete waste
  • other waste and litter
  • sawdust
  • washdown water from vehicles

Even accidental pollution can result in prosecution, so you and all others in your business should be aware of the laws protecting the environment and their penalties.

For an overview of relevant legislation and practical guidelines on reducing pollution on commercial and residential building sites, download an Adobe PDF copy of the Handbook for Pollution Avoidance on Commercial and Residential Building sites.