In its continuing efforts to quiet the city that never sleeps, New York officials are set to ban road construction crews from using loud pneumatic jackhammers unless they can clamp down on the nighttime noise.
Instead they would be required to use electric drills that reportedly make substantially less noise, or find ways to further muffle the sound of their traditional equipment, according to The New York Times. The city in the past has restricted drilling hours and required contractors to muffle sound.
While manufacturer Hilti said its electric jackhammer is as powerful as a pneumatic drill at breaking up dense concrete, a General Contractors Association of New York spokeswoman told The Times “it just didn’t work. … We’d love it if it was comparable.”
While more New Yorkers have complained to the city government about loud jackhammers than about anything else, passersby and residents of buildings near road construction sites aren’t the only victims of the pounding sound. The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration has said noise-related hearing loss is one of the most common occupational health concerns. Crew members who are exposed to high decibels of noise are limited to how many hours they may work.