Saf Health Work.  2017 Jun;8(2):226-230. 10.1016/

The Use of Noise Dampening Mats to Reduce Heavy-Equipment Noise Exposures in Construction

  • 1Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA.


The performance of sound barriers was evaluated to determine their technical effectiveness and practicality in reducing noise exposures to operating engineers in construction. Commercially purchased sound dampening mats (SDMats) were installed inside three heavy-equipment engine compartments. Sound pressure levels (SPLs) were measured before and after installing the SDMats while the equipment was on idle and full-throttle settings where it normally operates. SPLs inside the heavy-equipment operator cabs were significantly reduced by 5.6–7.6 dBA on the full-throttle setting following installation of the SDMats (p < 0.01). The evaluated engineering control intervention was simple to install, affordable, and substantially reduced the engine noise reaching the heavy-equipment operator, potentially reducing reliance on hearing-protection devices to protect construction workers from noise exposures.


noise engineering control in construction; sound absorbers; sound barriers
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