Farm Noise Nuisance & Health and Safety Issues
We have seen in other noise articles how people living near to railways lines or under flight paths can be greatly disturbed by the noise from trains and planes respectively, not to mention those residing near busy roads. Although sometimes they will have chosen to move there and so cannot be surprised by such noise, for others the noise will only have started since new construction or the altering of flight paths which have turned their once-peaceful dwelling into one which suffers greatly from noise. This can cause significant distress and anger, which can have a negative impact upon their mental health and wellbeing as they struggle to cope with it all.
Another source of noise which can greatly impact those living nearby are farms and other agricultural sites. The range of activities and source of sounds vary tremendously, but some of the most common ones are:
- Agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters which can be working early in the morning and late at night under floodlights when it is harvest time
- Animal noises, most notably when large numbers of animals are present such as pig or chicken farms
- Bird scarers which attempt to disperse birds that eat seeds and crops
Moving Vehicle Dangers
As well as the noise from agricultural machinery working in fields mentioned in point one above, there will often be a requirement for farm vehicles such as tractors to travel through towns and villages along the public roads in order to get from one place to another such as from the farm to a nearby field. Not only does this create a danger of an impact between the vehicle and a person, particularly a child, but it also will likely create the health and safety risk of mud on the road which can cause cars and other vehicles to skid and lose control. The danger from mud is a topic covered on numerous construction site safety health and safety training courses as it is an important issue for those in the construction, farming and agricultural industries to be aware of in terms of them creating a danger to the health and safety of members of the public.
Although some level of noise will be inevitable and unable to totally eradicate without the complete cessation of activities or complete removal of livestock, there will be a number of measures which farmers and business owners can put into place in order to lessen the level of noise produced and subsequently its effect upon nearby inhabitants. These include steps such as using newer and quieter machinery which is well-maintained, keeping noisy livestock in fields that are situated away from houses, and only using machines such as combine harvesters in the middle of the day when most people will be awake and up and about anyway.