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A Study on the Impacts of Noise Barrier in Construction Site Communication Essay

Construction industry is a complex and risky of work, the people in construction industry should have a better understanding of the need to practice good communication to ensure the better work quality and performance with a good communication (Vasanthi R.Perumal and Abu Hassan Abu Bakar, 2011). Good communication enables the members of the project for archiving the centre goal where the construction project complete in time with expected budget.

In construction industry, communication can be achieved through letters, drawings, symbols, signs, posters, and word for ensure the information able to send and receive by each other. With the good communication, the workers especially in construction site find it easily and greatly productive to work together. Instruction and order are given and they are carried out as expected once they are well understood and acted upon correctly. Hence the communication in construction site shall be in clear, concise, accurate and well-planned.

A good communication can enable an organization in better of work quality and performance, and also in decision making. Besides, an organization can achieve a better relationship with each other without any misunderstanding and misconception. So, the organization will be successful in any project without problems arise due to the poor communication. Other than that, good communication will also bring some advantages (Paul, 2008), such as:

– Reduce conflict within an organization

– Stronger and better relationships between each other

– Improve the teamwork of an organization

– Stronger controlling and problem-solving

– Well coordinated work plan

For instances, a good communication can benefit an organization for achieving better work quality and performance. Either in verbal or non verbal, communication should be practice well in an organization to prevent any misunderstanding or misconception occur.

Problem Statement

According to the BRE guidance on construction site communication (2010), UK construction industry cost at least £20 billion to repair and reconstruct the incorrect work due to poor communication such as instructions or orders given incorrect, technical information not available and etc. Such defects occur resulted of the workers’ poor workmanship or misunderstood the instruction from site agent.

One of the main factors of verbal communication is employment of foreign labour. According to Philida Schellekens & Judith Smith (2004), define that most of the construction project will employ foreign labour as worker due to their low salary. Those foreign labours have their own native language, so they may not able to communicate with site agent and other Malaysian workers. Hence, it finds out that there is language barrier between site agents with foreign labours at construction site.

Besides, according to Ravi Jain (2012), mentioned the construction site creates noise through the use of vehicles, construction equipment and power tools. Those noises can affect the verbal communication between the site agents with foreign labours.

A negative personality such as impatient, distrust, bad temper, fear (Asma Zaineb, 2010) happen on workers may be a barrier for them to communicate with others either in verbal or non verbal communication. Since construction industries had involved so many workers that came from different country with different education level, different cultural and etc (Nurul Azita Binti Sallet et al, 2012). There will be a huge impact on communication will be occurred with different personalities.

Aim and Objectives

The aim of the research study is to identify the factors affecting the verbal communication between site agent and foreign labour at construction site.

Whereas, the objectives will be the following,

– To identify the language barrier between site agent and foreign labour is a factor for verbal communication at construction site

– To identify the noise barrier at construction site is a factor for verbal communication at construction site

– To identify the personality barrier is a factor for verbal communication at construction site


1. Language barrier between site agent and foreign labour is a factor for verbal communication at construction site

2. Noise barrier at construction site is a factor for verbal communication at construction site

3. Personality barrier is a factor for verbal communication at construction site

Scope of Study

There are 4 main communication forms which are verbal communication, non-verbal communication, written communication and visual communication (Aarti R, 2011). Communication of information, messages, opinions, speech and thoughts can be made via different forms of modern communication media, like Internet, telephone and mobile. Besides, some of the basic ways of communication are by speaking, eye contact, sign language, body language, touch and singing.

• Verbal Communication

– Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking.

– Example: face to face communication, telephone, site meeting, etc

• Non Verbal Communication

– Non-verbal communication involves physical ways of communication, like, tone of the voice, touch, smell and body motion.

– Example: Short Message Service (SMS), Email, etc

• Written Communication

– Written communication form is writing the words which used for communication. Good written communication is essential for business purposes and practiced in many different languages.

– Example: Short Message Service (SMS), Email, etc

• Visual Communication

– Visual communication is visual display of information, like topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs.

– Example: Photo, Presentation Slide, etc

In this research study, it focuses on verbal communication between two or more people at construction site. For the most part of the communications example, is between a site agent and foreign labour. This research study also will talk about factors that considered as barrier for good communication at construction site.

Research Methodology

Literature Review

For literature review, journal articles and journal review were read up as much as possible to be cited in order to collect the useful data which were proved descriptively. This is a process of reading, analyzing, evaluating, summarizing and gathering information and data from book, article, journal, internet, newspaper, magazine and etc. All information relate to communication in construction site industry will be study and summarize in this research study.

Questionnaire Survey

A list of questions about the factors affects the verbal communication between site agent and foreign labours in construction site will be distributed to the respondents which are the parties involved in the construction site for more data and information for this research study. Questionnaire was designed in several sections and categories, the construction sites were randomly chosen and distributed in Kuala Lumpur. All the responses will be collected on individual basis and also a simple interview will conduct with respondents in respects of questionnaire earlier distributed.

Definition of communication

Communication is the interaction between two or above people and the interaction may in various form such as body motion, speaking, tone of the voice, touch and etc (Paul, 2008). It is the process of transmitting and receiving this information. A common objectives hardly to get done in a work place unless people able to share their ideas and information with others in a way to produce a common understanding. A successful communication in the workplace environment is very important. An employer shall create a good working situation which helps to increase the quality of work and increase the ensure quality control while the employee, it allows personal growth and development and contributes to satisfaction on the job.

What is verbal communication?

All humans need to interact. There are 4 main communication forms which are verbal communication, non-verbal communication, written communication and visual communication (Aarti R, 2011). The most obvious and common form of communication is verbal communication. Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language and speaking and it is one way for people to communicate face to face. According to Beth Lee (2010), verbal communication involves using speech to exchange information with others. It is generally defined as spoken language. Tone, enunciation, pauses, loudness, emphasis, word choice, these can all be used while speaking to enhance the spoken word. As a type of face-to-face communication, body language and different tones play an important role, it may cause greater impact upon the listener than informational content. For an example, a simple phrase like, “You did a wonderful job” may implicate different meanings and intentions. A genuine and sincere tone may suggest praise and commendation, but a mocking tone can be offensive and sarcastic.

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