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Document ID (ISN)110367
CIS number 09-1361
ISSN - Serial title 0007-9952 - Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail
Year 2009
Convention or series no. ND 2314-216-09
Author(s) Chatillon J., Trompette N., Ottaviani P., Pelletier E.
Title Observation of the activity in call centres and noise exposure limits
Original title Observation de l'activité en centre d'appels téléphoniques et limites d'exposition au bruit [in French]
Bibliographic information 3rd Quarter 2009, No.216, p.33-39. Illus. 11 ref.
Internet access$File/ND2314.pdf [in French]
Abstract Call centre operators are exposed to noise from conversations received in the headset, for which the risk should be evaluated. French regulations stipulate that these exposure levels be evaluated in the diffuse sound field (external to the ear). For this purpose, INRS uses a standardized measurement method based on an artificial head and an ear simulator. This evaluation also requires defining the duration of conversations over the course of the working day, a very variable duration depending on the functions occupied by the employees in call centres. A study by a major French telecom company has shown that these durations vary between two and three hours per day. The maximum sound exposure level in the telephone headsets of the operators was deduced from these observations to ensure conformity with the regulations. Nowadays, these levels are often set by level limiters installed at the telephone workstations. Limitation of the emission level of the headsets must be accompanied by an ambient noise check in order to guarantee the intelligibility of the conversations. This check can be done through an approach intended to improve the acoustics of the open-plan offices in which they are located. These prevention measures have demonstrated their effectiveness and are worthy of being generalized in order to guarantee the absence of risk of hearing impairment of call centre employees. This article highlights the issues related to exposure measurement.
Descriptors (primary) France; telecommunications; call centres; noise level
Descriptors (secondary) public OSH institutions; legal aspects; acoustics; premises; speech intelligibility; limitation of exposure; risk factors; noise level measurement; hearing loss
Document type D - Periodical articles
Country / State or ProvinceFrance
Subject(s) Commerce, services, offices
Broad subject area(s) Physical hazards
New technologies
Browse category(ies) Communications industry