Portable Generator Noise Levels: Understanding Decibels (dBA)

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

When evaluating commercial or industrial portable generators, it’s important to consider their noise levels, as many cities have local noise ordinances in place with which construction equipment must comply.

Generally speaking, noise levels are measured in decibels (dBA), a metric commonly listed on generator specification sheets. Noise levels can vary significantly based on generator size and the manufacturer, ranging anywhere between mid-50 and mid-80 dBA. So, how do you know exactly how loud is too loud? We’re here to help.

Decibel Levels of Common Sounds

Below we compare dBA levels to common sounds, giving you context to portable generator labels. As you’ll see, the lower the dBA; the quieter the noise is.

Tips When Comparing Portable Generators

Start by searching for your city’s noise ordinance or code. offers a list of city ordinances for some of the largest cities in the country. You may also try contacting your city hall directly.

Keep in mind that dBA is a variable metric based on distance from the source. Many generator manufacturers measure from approximately 23 feet (7 meters). For an apples-to-apples comparison, make sure the dBA ratings of all the generators you’re comparing are measured from similar distances.

Finally, compare the noise levels of generators with similar power capacities (measured in either watts or amps) for the most accurate assessment. This ensures that you get the quietest generator at the power output you require.

For example, looking at some of the top brands in the industry, many of the mid-to-large sized portable generators (6,500 to 14,000 Watts) range between mid-70 and mid-80 dBA.

Note: When comparing labels, you may also see the sound pressure level (LwA) reported. This is a European standard for noise. 

If you have additional questions, please contact one of our roofing experts at 800-635-0384 or

Hy-Tech Roof Pro Portable Generators

Made in the U.S.A., Hy-Tech’s Roof Pro Family of Portable Generators are the first generators designed by roofers for the roofing and construction industries. Download the Hy-Tech Roof Pro Portable Generator Brochure to learn more.


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Topics: Power Supply

Portable Generators: CARB and EPA Regulations & Compliance

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

In an effort to cut down on air pollution, national and state organizations have instituted legislation that regulates the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by engines. 

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Topics: Power Supply

Avoid a common cause of portable generator breakdowns

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

When you’re on a job site, a reliable power source is critical to productivity and, ultimately, profitability. A faulty or malfunctioning portable generator can cause poor tool performance, delays and lost revenue. 

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Topics: Power Supply

Portable Generators: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

There is a lot to consider when purchasing a portable generator for your commercial and roofing needs. To help, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions we get about portable generators.

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Topics: Power Supply

Tips for Effective Portable Generator Maintenance

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

To maximize the life of your portable generator and keep it running efficiently, you need to perform regular maintenance on the machine. In this post, we’ve outlined some tips to help you care for your portable generator.

If you are having issues with your generator, contact the manufacturer for troubleshooting help: addressing any issues early can save you money and downtime by avoiding serious malfunctions and more significant repairs down the road.

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Commercial Roofing Fall Protection Guide: How to Stay OSHA-Compliant

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

In-depth look at commercial roofing OSHA regulations and the fall protection equipment needed to stay safe and compliant.

In the construction industry, falls are the number one cause of death—killing on average 150 to 200 people each year. Most of these falls occur from scaffolds and roofs. 

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Topics: Garlock, Roofing Safety, Fall Protection

Personal Fall Arrest Anchor Points: How to Ensure OSHA Compliance

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

Fall arrest equipment prevents a worker from hitting the ground if they fall over the roof edge. According to OSHA regulations, workers 6 ft. or more off the ground must be tied off to a fall arrest system if there are no guardrails or safety net systems in place.

Having a fall arrest system prevents fall-related fatalities and injuries. Falls on average kill between 150 to 200 people every year.

A fall arrest system consists of a lifeline and shock-absorbing lanyard connected to a harness. The other end of the lifeline is then connected to an anchor (or tie-off) point. This anchor point offers the resistance necessary to stop a worker’s fall. 

In this post, we’ll provide details on OSHA’s anchor point regulations, and recommend how to ensure the anchor points your contractors select meet or exceed these requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Perimeter Fall Protection Equipment

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a federal body that creates national safety regulations, requires installation of “guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems” around roof edges from which workers can fall 6 ft. or more. 

To help you understand some of the OSHA regulations regarding your roof perimeter, we’ve provided answers to some of the questions we frequently get asked. For OSHA’s full list of requirements, read through their Fall Protection page.

What does OSHA require of a roof edge guardrail system?

For an OSHA-approved guardrail system, you’ll need at minimum the following:

  • Top railing that is 1/4 in. in diameter, and 42 in. (+/- 3 in.) above the working surface. It should be able to withstand a 200 lb. outward force within 2 in. of the top railing.
  • Midrail, screen, mesh or an intermediate vertical member must be positioned directly between the top railing and working surface if there is no wall or parapet at least 21-in. high. Any rails or cable used must also be at least 1/4 in. in diameter, and capable of withstanding a 150 lb. outward force.
  • A chain, gate or removable guardrail must be placed across any roof-access or hoisting areas when not in use.

It is important to note that all projects and perimeter protection systems are different, and the components necessary to satisfy OSHA regulations may vary. For example, most guardrail systems will require base plates or clamps to secure guardrails to the roof edge, and on steep roofs with unprotected sides, toeboards must also be installed.

For more information about different perimeter protection systems options, visit Hy-Tech’s perimeter protection equipment page or contact us at or 800-635-0384.

How many guardrails and base plates do I need?

When you begin your search for a perimeter protection system, there are many factors to consider. Knowledgeably communicating your needs to a sales representative is essential to finding the right system and the appropriate number of components. Before you talk to a sales rep, prepare yourself by answering the following questions:

  • How long is the perimeter of the roof I’m working on?
  • What type of material is the roof? (e.g. metal, bitumen, single ply, cement, etc.)
  • Does the roof have a pitch? If so, what angle is it?
  • What is the roof edge like? (e.g. parapet wall, flat edge, etc.)

When you know this information, you’ll be able to find a system that meets the needs of your specific job. That will guarantee the system works with your roofing membrane, covers your perimeter and attaches securely to your roof edge.

Once you narrow down your system choices, you’ll be able to determine your guardrail and base plate needs.

Besides a guardrail, what are my other fall protection equipment options?

To stay OSHA compliant, you may also utilize personal fall arrest systems or install a safety net system around your roof perimeter. Both are subject to specific OSHA regulations:

Fall Arrest Systems

Fall arrest systems include safety harnesses and anchor points that are connected by shock-absorbing lanyards, lifelines and snap-hooks.

  • All fall arrest equipment must limit the arresting force to 1,800 lbs. and allow a worker to fall no more than 6 ft.
  • All fall arrest equipment must be able to withstand 2 times the potential impact force of a worker’s fall.
  • Harnesses — Body belts are not acceptable under OSHA requirements. It is recommended that workers wear harnesses that strap over their shoulders and around their legs.
  • Dee-Rings and Snap Hooks — Must have a minimum tensile strength of 5,000 lbs. and be proof-tested to a minimum tensile load of 3,600 lbs.
  • Lanyards and Vertical Lifelines — Must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs. Ropes and straps must be made from synthetic fibers.
  • Anchorage Points — An anchorage point must be an object that does not move upon fall arrest and supports a minimum of 5,000 lbs. per person attached.

Safety Net Systems

Safety net systems are installed on the building’s exterior, below the roof edge, to prevent workers who fall from hitting the ground. They are also subject to several important OSHA regulations.

  • Must be installed no more than 30 ft. below the roof edge.
  • The net’s mesh openings must not exceed 36 sq. in. or be longer than 6 in. on any side.
  • Net must have border rope for webbing that has a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 lbs.
  • Nets must be installed a minimum horizontal distance from the building as follows:
Net Distance from
Roof Edge
Minimum Required
Horizontal Extension
5 ft. or less 8 ft. 
5 to 10 ft.  10 ft. 
10 ft. or more 13 ft.


Keep in mind that OSHA requires all workers to be tied off while installing perimeter protection. You can find a complete list of OSHA perimeter protection guidelines here.

If you have any questions about perimeter protection needs, contact Hy-Tech at or 800-635-0384.

Commercial Roofing Fall Protection Guide

An in-depth look at OSHA fall-protection regulations and the roofing equipment you need to stay both safe and compliant. Download this valuable reference guide for free here.


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3 Advantages of the Garlock Turbo-Rail Fall Protection System

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

Just as you would invest in a roof cutter to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of tear-off projects, an investment in the right fall protection system keeps contractors safe while improving efficiency, preserving roofing substrates and maintaining a professional, clean job site.

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Topics: Roofing Safety, Fall Protection

Fall Arrest vs. Fall Restraint: What Roofers Need to Know About These Fall Protection Systems

Posted by Hy-Tech Roof

According to OSHA, roofing contractors working near a fall hazard 6 ft. or higher must be protected by a guardrail system, safety-net and/or fall-arrest system. 

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