ITS offers diagnosis (measurements, studies) and soundproofing solutions (development and marketing of hardware, works) for noisy workspaces acoustics, thus meeting the growing needs of companies (industrial or not) in terms of noise reduction and improved sound comfort for employees.

On the one hand, noisy workspaces acoustics is regulated, at least in France :

  • in terms of sound levels with regard to the level of daily noise exposure [1] and on the other hand the peak sound pressure [2]; this is applicable elsewhere in the world with possibly differences as to the admissible values, and - of course - in other European countries, then with identical provisions where a transposition - into national law - of a specific common directive to all member states has been carried out)
  • in terms of the decrease in sound level by doubling the distance from the source [3]

On the other hand, some of these indicators of the acoustic performance of noisy workspaces (and others e.g. reverberation time) are the subject of recommendations by means of standards, which are not mandatory, but which provide, in different contexts that vary according to the nature of the tasks performed by the employees, criteria for assessing a situation which are important, if only because they generally form a consensus - at least, in France, for those which are NF-certified - [4] [5].

These reference documents (regulatory and normative) reflect the importance of seriously considering the acoustic quality of noisy workspaces :

  • in workshops, because the health of employees is at stake :
    • with regard to the prevention of the risks of hearing trauma which may result in occupational deafness being highly undesirable (for the employee of course, but also for the employer given the consequences of different kinds of such a situation)
    • with regard to other aspects of occupational safety (to avoid accidents, employees must be able to distinctly hear certain audible signals, e.g. alarms and sirens, vehicle horns or even warnings from colleagues)
  • everywhere i.e. in production premises, but also elsewhere i.e. in offices :
    • because it comes to the medical prevention of workers, who may suffer from fatigue, stress, psychosomatic illnesses in connection with excessive noise or with insufficient acoustic comfort or soundproofing of premises; that workers all whistle while working (because they are happy) may not be a realistic or even desirable goal in all contexts, but that they have sufficiently calm working conditions is a good thing in many ways
    • with regard to the quality of the tasks performed, good communication (verbal: between colleagues or with the hierarchy), good organization (when it is not affected by absenteeism, difficulty in recruiting at certain workstations), and therefore with regard to the quality of the company's products and services (including meeting deadlines when not compromised by the disorganization resulting from a lack of workmanship as illustrated above)
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ITS offers diagnosis and soundproofing solutions for noisy workspaces

In the field of noisy workspaces acoustics, offices constitute a category of spaces quite apart, where the problem of preventing hearing risks is (in general) absent, but which nevertheless requires lower ambient noise levels (even for the accomplishment of tasks which do not require a particular concentration) and which presents other specificities (e.g. of insulation against contiguous spaces, whether they are other offices, traffic areas, or a workshop - or even a production/assembly hall - in the case of a control booth or a soundproofed control station).

In particular, in shared or collective offices (e.g. open spaces), for activities involving the use of the telephone (not only in call centers and commercial departments), for administrative work, for engineering or R&D tasks, it is desirable that everyone is not bothered by the (professional) activity of others, in particular in relation to the noise of conversations (but also sometimes: in relation to the ringing of telephones, the noise of printers, plotters and various more or less specific equipment) or the noise emissions of building equipment (e.g. air conditioning). Thus, with respect to a neighboring workstation, two concepts are of particular interest, and require minimum provisions in terms of soundproofing :

  • discretion: this is the situation obtained when an effort is required to understand the content of an outgoing conversation. So the conversation is not a source of distraction.
  • confidentiality: this is the situation obtained when, even with an effort to understand a conversation, it remains impenetrable

In premises that are an integral part of workspaces or are associated with them, such as meeting and training rooms (with regard to an issue of confidentiality, but also of speaking and listening comfort), relaxation and company restaurants (with regard to the issue of calm and good conversation conditions), the background noise level (e.g. the sound impact of equipment such as refrigeration cabinets, air conditioning) and the intelligibility of speech (e.g. depending on the more or less good mastery of the sound reverberation phenomenon) influence the acoustic quality, and must therefore be the subject of particular attention when constructing a building or during the layout works of a stair.

With regard to all noisy workplaces for which acoustics is a matter of concern, ITS supports its customers in a variety of ways (customizable) both in terms of diagnosis and in terms of solutions (when there is a problem):

  • measurements on site, by a specialized workforce, with the highest level of metrology equipment, and according to the regulatory and/or standardized protocols in force, of sound pressure levels, airborne noise insulation between premises, reverberation time, decrease in sound level by doubling the distance from the source; drafting of intervention reports with comparison of measured values with reference limits
  • predictive acoustics calculations (computer simulations), sizing study (acoustics, but also ventilation/aerodynamics, thermal transfers) of soundproofing equipment by an experienced acoustician, with extended skills in buliding physics
  • marketing of materials and/or works (reverberation control, sound insulation): of the best quality, at the best price, and generally accompanied by a performance guarantee

Thus (and it is not nothing), the diagnosis carried out on site by ITS in noisy workspcaes of all types, in a context of analysis and/or improvement of the acoustic quality can be extended (if it is is the wish of the Customer) by the development by ITS (possibly: with its commercial partners) of solutions (from commercial materials and products or tailor-made) to limit noise and/or increase hearing comfort :

  • noise reduction at source: machines soundproofing canopies and carterizations, noise enclosures for noisy hardware, silencers for ventilation openings, aspiration of dust, waste and chips networks orificeslimitation of sound propagation: partitions and noise barriers, acoustic dividers and screens, cabins hosting staff
  • reverberation treatment: ceiling and suspended acoustic elements (baffles), absorbent wall panels

This global approach of noisy workspaces acoustics, combining diagnosis (meticulous, multidisciplinary, with sophisticated measurement and calculation means) and soundproofing solutions (imaginative, efficient, comprehensive, with sizing tools securing the results), based on decades of acoustic engineering practice and implementation of soundproofing techniques is well in line with the ITS slogan "Choice soundscapes, everywhere".

[1] according to European directive 2003/10/EC, for the daily noise exposure level L EX, 8h: 80 dB(A) and 85 dB(A) are the thresholds, respectively lower and upper, triggering the action; 87 dB(A) is the authorized limit value
[2] according to European directive 2003/10 / CE, for the peak sound pressure ρpeak: 112 Pa ie 135 dB(C) and 140 Pa 137 dB(C) are the thresholds, respectively lower and upper, triggering the action; 200 Pa i.e. 140 dB(C) is the authorized limit value
[3] the Decree of August 30, 1990 is issued for the application of Article R. 235-11 of the Labor Code and relating to the acoustic correction of work premises

  • considered in the empty room of any machine or production facility, the authorized limit varies from 2 dB (A) to 4 dB (A) depending on the floor area of the room (the pivotal values being 210 m2 and 4600 m2)
  • considered after installation of production machines and devices, the authorized limit varies from 3 dB (A) to 4 dB (A) depending on the floor area of the room (the pivotal values being 210 m2 and 1000 m2)

[4] e.g. cf. NF S 31-080 Acoustics - Offices and associated spaces - Levels and criteria of acoustic performance by type of space
[5] some DIN standards, without NF or ISO equivalent, are not devoid of interest, although they are rarely used in practice in France

Protection of workers against noise

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