The increasing mechanisation of the work environment also becomes apparent with regards to the equipment of a modern office workplace. As a result, the mentally high demanding office work is often disturbed by the noise of office machines and communication devices. Both computers, printers, scanners, copiers, fax machines and other communication media generate noise emissions that lead to a considerable noise nuisance at the workplace. Besides organisatory arrangements paticularly the purchase of comparable quiet products can help to reduce noise quite efficiently. The identifying parameter for the noise emissions of office machines is the sound power level that has been determined under standardised conditions.
While for experts the sound power level works as a particularly suitable parameter for the acoustic planning of work stations non-experts, such as the purchers of office machines, often do not understand what this parameter actually designates or even mistake it for the also dB(A)-identified sound pressure level. In addition to that, only by the indication of the noise emission value a clear statement about the comparably quietness of the office machine in question is not possible. For this purpose a comparison with the noise emission values of other equivalent office machines would be necessary. This comparison, however, is never conducted because of the effort it would require from the purchaser. This project's aim is to examine and, if possible, to test with the help of a concrete example in how far the concept of a quality ranking, such as the energy consumption categories A, B, C, D of domestic appliances, can be transferred to the estimation of noise emissions of office machinery.
Unit 2.2 "Physical Agents"