Understand link between noise and quality of life

Employers, consultants and contractors must be aware that they are responsible for the noise, and of the close relationship between noise, health and quality of life.
Employers, consultants and contractors must be aware that they are responsible for the noise, and of the close relationship between noise, health and quality of life.PHOTO: ST FILE

I believe the problem of construction noise lies with the small and medium-sized contractors ($2m fund to help firms get quieter construction equipment, March 12; and More must be done to reduce noise from construction work, May 9, 2018).

Their haphazard attitude to noisy demolition work and the lack of wherewithal to invest in modern equipment seem to be the cause of many people's suffering in Singapore.

When eight out of 10 in the population live in Housing Board flats, demolition or hacking work carried out in, on or near occupied premises require careful thought and planning.

Unfortunately, the troubling practice of using jackhammers even without any effective noise suppressing measures is still rampant in many neighbourhood renewal programmes, including lift upgrading works, water riser main replacement and flat renovation, to name a few.

It appears that while the National Environment Agency (NEA) requires some construction sites to install real-time noise meters, it can take action against a recalcitrant party only when members of the public make a complaint.

NEA should be more proactive on this.

Employers, consultants and contractors must be aware that they are responsible for the noise, and of the close relationship between noise, health and quality of life.

Loong Chik Tong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2019, with the headline 'Understand link between noise and quality of life'. Print Edition | Subscribe