In North America, safe vibration standards are based on scientific studies conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM). These studies recommend ground and air vibration limits based on scaled distance, peak particle velocity, air pressure and frequency. The purposes of these standards are to ensure that even cosmetic cracking will not occur in nearby structures. The standards are conservative meaning, even slightly exceeding these standards will not necessarily harm a structure.
For ground vibrations, the standard is a function of frequency and peak particle velocity (ppv). Rhode Island regulations allow for 1.99 ppv at 10 hz or greater.
For air vibrations, the standard is a function of pressure that is most often reported as decibels with a common limit of 133 decibels (db) with a 2Hz system.