The work environment factor "noise" has been examined as one of five "technical factors" within the frame of the project "Mental Health in the Working World - Determining the current state of scientific evidence". Non-auditory effects of noise have been in the focus, that is, effects that do not affect the auditory system. In contrast to the auditory effects, these non-auditory effects of noise, like e. g. effects on well-being or performance, may show up not only at high levels but even at moderate sound pressure levels. In a scoping review articles from the years 1995 to 2015 addressing this topic have been considered and 96 contributions entered the stage of data extraction. In total, six relationships between attributes of the work environment factor "noise" and certain depending variables were considered.
In the second part of this article, activities of the BAuA with respect to nonauditory effects of noise and to technically oriented solutions are presented. In connection to effects on cognitive performance the focus is on effects on reading performance. Adverse effects of a speech condition in comparison to a silent condition were demonstrated in a pilot study using a self-developed reading task. In a current research project further studies are performed with a slightly modified reading task and with employees as participants. Since actions in the frame of occupational safety and health are aimed at the avoidance or reduction of adverse effects on employees, further projects with the focus on technically oriented solutions are presented. With these projects the BAuA supports the development of design options for workplaces.
This article is published in the Journal "Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention", Volume 53, Issue December 2018, pp. 38-43.
Please download the article "The work environment factor 'noise' - Findings from the project 'Mental Health in the Working World' and current research in the BAuA" (in German only).
Der Arbeitsumgebungsfaktor "Lärm" - Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt "Psychische Gesundheit in der Arbeitswelt" und aktuelle Forschung in der BAuA.
in: Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention, Volume 53, Sonderheft 2018. pages 38-43, Project number: F 2353