Limiting employees exposure to noise is a regulatory obligation, resulting from european Directive 2003/10/EC:
- for the daily noise exposure level (LEX, 8h): 80 dB (A) and 85 dB (A) are the values (respectively: lower and upper) triggering the action; 87 dB (A) is the exposure limit value
- with regard to the peak sound pressure (ρpeak): 112 Pa i.e. 135 dB (C) and 140 Pa i.e. 137 dB (C) are the values (respectively: lower and upper) triggering the action; 200 Pa i.e. 140 dB (C) is the exposure limit value
Limiting employee exposure to noise thus often makes it necessary to use soundproofing means:
- at the source, when it comes to reducing the noise of machines, and production means of all kinds by means of enclosures, canopies, laggings, silencers, etc. (the sound power of the noise sources, that noisy equipment is, is then reduced)
- to limit the propagation of noise to various workstations, by means of screens or acoustic partitions, noise barriers or else by using absorbent materials - we speak of reverberation control - to limit the reflection of sounds (the sound power of the noise sources, that constitute noisy equipment, is then unchanged, but the sound pressure level at specified locations is reduced)
Limiting employee exposure to noise is at the heart of Isolation Technologie Services (ITS), which has a comprehensive commercial offering in this area.
A diagnosis can be carried out on site, e.g. with measurement of sound levels, but also of indicators linked to the acoustic quality of buildings, e.g. reverberation time, spatial sound decay (as provided for in the order of August 30, 1990 relating to the reverberation control of work rooms).
Simulations of the performance associated with actions such as those mentioned above can be carried out, using prediction software developed in-house (moreover: marketed by ITS) or other commercial tools, if they come from recognized publishers.
Soundproofing equipment can be marketed, with or without on-site installation.
A visit to the Isolation Technologie Services (ITS) booth (B47e) at the Preventica trade fair in Lyon (Auvergne Rhône Alpes region, France) is essential for anyone concerned with limiting employee noise exposure !
Originally scheduled in 2020 (on September 29, 30 and October 1), the show has been postponed to 2021 (from 27 to 29 April).