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Noise and Acoustics

Sound is called noise, if it can cause to hearing damage or extra-aural effects with the result of significant health and safety hazards. In addition to the physiological effects, such as the increase of blood pressure and heart rate, psychological effects which may result in an increase of the number of errors, or in a reduced level of concentration or attention. The latter effects are of significant importance. This leads to accidents, work-related health hazards and reduce work performance and, ultimately, the economic cost to businesses increases. Despite considerable efforts to reduce noise, noise is still one of the major stressors in the workplace.

The work of Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) therefore particularly focuses in the field of noise on preventive measures to reduce noise at source. These include the development of design solutions for low-noise equipment and work systems. Analysis methods, design methods and basic solutions are key issues.

By the use and development of European and international networks, a lower noise emission of machines, a simplification and improvement of measurement methods and the development of methods for determining the state of the art of noise reduction is strived for. The development of uniform approaches to treat the emission of machines with a view to giving the residual risks and the presentation of the state of the art is coordinated. Among other issues the unit focuses especially on shopping aids for corporate buyers and the support of the market surveillance.


Noise and Vibrations Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (LärmVibrationsArbSchV) (PDF file, 152 KB)
(This English translation of the Noise and Vibrations Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance is an inofficial version. Mandatory is the current German version.)