International expert meeting "Sound Acoustics for Employees, SAFE" on non-auditory effects of noise at work on 04./05.11.2015 in Dortmund

The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) hosted an international expert meeting on non-auditory effects of noise at work in November 2015. About 40 invited participants from 10 countries with considerable expertise on different topics in the field attended the meeting.

In general, noise is defined as undesired sound that can lead to various impairments and health effects. It is well-known that high sound pressure levels cause damage to the auditory system (aural effects). The avoidance of these effects is an important task in occupational safety and health. Moreover, high and moderate sound pressure levels can lead to physiological reactions, physical and mental impairments, disturbances in speech communication and to a reduction in work performance. These effects not directly related to the ear are called extra-aural or non-auditory effects of noise. In the light of today's changes in working conditions, the non-auditory effects of noise on employees are gaining more and more importance in the context of safety and health at work.

BAuA hosted a two-day expert meeting managed by the Physical Agents group. The main topics of this event were:

  • Non-auditory effects of noise
  • Noise in offices
  • Noise in hospitals
  • Restoration

The first day of the meeting focused on the talks by the invited experts to present the current state of knowledge. On the second day the above issues were examined in detail during several workshops. The key topics of discussion covered knowledge deficits as well as the challenges and opportunities for work system design in practice.

Find below selected presentations given during the meeting for download.

Programme (PDF, 19 KB)

A general survey on non-auditory effects of noise at work places (PDF, 2 MB)
Dr. Helga Sukowski, Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Germany

Noise, stress, and mental health: surveys across different occupations (PDF, 56 KB)
Prof. Dr. Andrew P. Smith, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, United Kingdom

Effect of speech on performance - an evidence-based model promoting noise control in offices (PDF, 468 KB)
Valtteri Hongisto, Finish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland

Perception- and effect-related evaluation of open-plan office acoustic design (PDF, 363 KB)
Dr. Andreas Liebl, Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP), Stuttgart, Germany

Office noise in real-world offices (PDF, 1 MB)
Prof. Dr. Lukas Windlinger, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Life Sciences and Facility Management, Wädenswil, Switzerland

Noise control to improve employee satisfaction in offices - What should we measure and how should we promote better design? (PDF, 1 MB)
Valtteri Hongisto, Finish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland

Psychoacoustics and health - The importance of psychoacoustics and its relation to noise effects (PDF, 6 MB)
Dr. André Fiebig, HEAD Acoustics, Herzogenrath, Germany

Noise control and forecast in offices (PDF, 1 MB)
Dr. Wolfgang Probst, Datakustik, Greifenberg, Germany

Workplace hospital: Noise as a strain for the medical staff (PDF, 920 KB)
Dr. Gert Notbohm, Institute of Occupational and Social Medicine, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

Environmental satisfaction among the personnel in Tampere University Hospital - acoustic perspectives (PDF, 940 KB)
Maija Suokas, Finish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH), Helsinki, Finland

Acoustics - a major quality parameter in medical interventions (PDF, 6 MB)
Dr. Holger Sauer, Klinikum Westfalen, Lünen, Germany

The effects of sounds on restorative processes (PDF, 880 KB)
Dr. Helena Jahncke, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, University of Gävle, Schweden

Soundscapes - Nature and Restoration (PDF, 2 MB)
Prof. Dr. Peter Lercher, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria

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