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Noise may lead to risks to health and safety

Sound that may cause hearing damage or extra-aural effects with consequences for the health and safety of employees is referred to as noise. Extra-aural effects are effects not related to the ear.

In addition to physiological effects, such as the increase regarding blood pressure and heart rate, the psychic effects of the noise are very important. They can manifest in an increased error rate or in a lower concentration and attentiveness. This results in accidents, work-related health risks, reduces the output, and ultimately causes business cost for the companies.

Despite significant noise reduction efforts, noise still is one of the essential stress factors at the workstation. The work of the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) specifically focuses on preventative measures reducing the noise at the source already. These include the development of design solutions for low-noise work equipment and systems. In this, the focus is on analysis processes, design methods, and principle solutions.

Establishment of European and international networks

Meanwhile, European and international networks have been established. The aim is to establish a lower noise emission of machines, an improvement and simplification of measuring methods, and the development of procedures for determining the state of the art in the field of noise reduction.

Furthermore, the further development of uniform concepts for handling the emission of machines regarding the specification of the residual risks and the representation of the state of the art is coordinated. For example, through practical purchasing support for procurement officers, as well as by supporting the market supervision.