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Thursday, April 12, 2012

As Usual

I did use a jackhammer once for a few days while working a summer job. It was one of the most unpleasant work experiences I have ever had, and I have done a number of unpleasant tasks. I am always so disturbed to see workers using this tool - I cannot fathom how anyone could use such a thing for hours at a time on a daily basis. Even with safety equipment, face masks, and hearing protectors, the impact and damage to the body must be tremendous.

New York City is an exciting and dynamic place. But dynamism means change, and that means construction. Sometimes it feels like construction at every turn.
Exacerbating the entire mess is that the city is so densely populated that construction must be done at inauspicious times and places while the city goes about its business. Subways are 24 hours, so service must often be rerouted and disrupted, much to the chagrin of daily commuters.

This is the city that never sleeps. And why would you try with a jackhammer outside your window? A train or subway is about 100 decibels. A jackhammer is 120 - 130 decibels. At least it is no louder than a jet plane at takeoff, which measures 130 decibels or greater.

Efforts have been made to develop a quieter jackhammer. In 2000, Brookhaven National Laboratory worked on a helium gas gun device called the Raptor, which was to be much quieter than any conventional diesel-powered compressor-styled device. The noise levels on the newer gun were claimed to be substantially less. However, the device was not as promised, the project appears to be stalled, and so for now, it's carpal tunnel syndrome, white finger, and bruises for the workers. For the rest of us, it's deafening noise, As Usual

Related Posts: Not ReallyToo Too New York, Deaf Jam, Men Making Noise


time traveler said...

How I HATED using the jackhammer.I am not a big heavy guy and I think I was assigned to it just for the amusement it gave some of my co-workers..Being a ex-Marine I stuck with it-but I suffered..Nice post..

Boye By Red said...

You might as well have described London. Especially now as the Olymic games approach. Wherever your turn, drills, pavements and street dug out. Not a pretty sight or nice sounds. I suppose that's teh peril of living in a big city.