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Hearing loss among operating engineers in American construction industry
This study examined the prevalence and characteristics of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) among engineers operating heavy construction machinery. Demographic and occupational data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire and the 623 participants underwent audiometric tests and otoscopic examinations. Over 60% showed hearing loss in the noise-sensitive higher frequencies of 4 and 6kHz. The degree of hearing loss was particularly high among workers who reported long years of working in the construction industry. Average reported use of hearing protection devices (HPDs) was 48% of the time they were required to be used. A significant inverse relationship was found between 4-6kHz hearing loss and use of HPDs.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Aug. 2005, Vol.78, No.7, p.565-574. Illus. 53 ref.
Seixas N.S., Goldman B., Sheppard L., Neitzel R., Norton S., Kujawa S.G.
Prospective noise induced changes to hearing among construction industry apprentices
Hearing and noise exposure were monitored among a cohort of newly-enrolled construction industry apprentices and a comparison group of students, using standard pure tone audiometry and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs). A total of 328 subjects were monitored annually an average of 3.4 times. In parallel to these measures, noise exposure and use of hearing protection devices were monitored during construction work tasks. Non-occupational exposures were also investigated and monitored in subgroups of subjects. Results indicate that construction apprentices in their first three years of work, with average noise exposures under 90dBA, have measurable losses of hearing function. Despite the practical problems of implementing DPOAEs for hearing surveillance on construction sites, they appear somewhat more sensitive to the early-stage detection of hearing loss than standard pure tone audiometry.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 2005, Vol.62, No.5, p.309-317. Illus. 30 ref.
Kaufman L.R., LeMasters G.K., Olsen D.M., Succop P.
Effects of concurrent noise and jet fuel exposure on hearing loss
This study examined the effects of occupational exposure to jet fuel on hearing among ground workers at a U.S air force base. Noise-exposed subjects, with or without jet fuel exposure, underwent hearing tests. Data on work histories, recreational exposures, protective equipment, medical histories, alcohol, smoking, and demographics were collected by questionnaire. Jet fuel, solvent and noise exposure data were collected from occupational hygiene records. Fuel concentrations were less than 34% of the OSHA threshold limit values. Subjects with three years of jet fuel exposure had a 70% increase in adjusted odds of hearing loss (OR=1.7) and the odds increased to 2.41 for 12 years of noise and fuel exposure. These findings suggest that jet fuel has a toxic effect on the auditory system.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Mar. 2005, Vol.47, No.3, p.212-218. 42 ref.
Howard C., Hansen C., Zander A.
A review of current airborne ultrasound exposure limits
Research has indicated that airborne ultrasound impinging on the eardrums of humans has the potential to cause undesirable effects. This article reviews current recommended airborne ultrasound exposure limits from various standards organizations around the world. There appears to be a general consensus among standards organizations recommending that sound pressure levels should be less than 110dB above 25kHz, regardless of the exposure duration, in order to prevent undesirable subjective effects of ultrasound.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, June 2005, Vol.21, No.3, p.253-257. 25 ref.
Noise protection: An amendment of the environment protection law
Ochrona przed hałasem - znowelizowane prawo ochrony środowiska [in Polish]
An amendment to the Environment Protection Law concerning noise protection is discussed. Includes information on basic definitions, acoustic maps, requirements for installations and equipment, noise emission permits and administrative fines.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, 2005, No.7-8, p.10-14. Illus. 15 ref.
http://www.ciop.pl/15584 [in Polish]
Konkolewsky H.H., et al.
Noise at work
Le bruit sur le lieu de travail [in French]
El ruido en el medio laboral. [in Spanish]
This special issue on noise was published to coincide with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2005. It provides an overview of some of the work being done in Europe to protect workers' hearing and highlights the need to bring into force laws, regulations and administrative provisions to comply with Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253) on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to noise. Contents: comment on Directive 2003/10/EC; HSE initiatives to reduce workplace noise in the United Kingdom; Italian good practice manual on workplace noise control; stepwise approach to controlling noise at work; acoustics in indoor workplaces; acoustic measures in sheltered workshops for handicapped workers; effects of noise on classical musicians; noise reduction in offices; speech intelligibility when wearing hearing protectors.
Magazine - European Agency for Safety and Health at Work / Agence européenne pour la sécurité et la santé au travail, 2005, No.8, p.1-31 (whole issue). Illus. 66 ref.
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_en.pdf [in English]
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_es.pdf [in Spanish]
http://www.agency.osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_fr.pdf [in French]
http://osha.eu.int/publications/magazine/8/magazine8_de.pdf [in German]
Nomura K., Nakao M., Yano E.
Hearing loss associated with smoking and occupational noise exposure in a Japanese metal working company
A cross-sectional study of the effects of smoking on hearing loss was conducted among 397 Japanese male workers at a metal factory during their periodical health checkup. Hearing acuity was measured at 4kHz using a pure-tone audiometer in a quiet room. Among the total subjects, 55 (13.9%) were identified as having hearing loss at 4kHz, and 151 (38.0%) were currently exposed to occupational noise. When adjusted for age and occupational noise exposure, odds ratios of hearing loss were 3.16 for past smokers and 3.39 for heavy smokers compared with never-smokers. The association between smoking and hearing loss seems to be masked by atherosclerotic factors. Results suggest that the concurrent impact of smoking and occupational noise exposure on hearing loss require further attention.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2005, Vol.78, No.3, p.178-184. 30 ref.
Kardous C.A., Franks J.R., Davis R.R.
NIOSH/NHCA best practices workshop on impulsive noise
In May 2003, a workshop on impulsive noise and its effects on hearing brought together leading international experts from labour, industry, and government. The following key needs were identified: instruments and standards for measurement and evaluation of impulsive sounds; international consensus on descriptors for impulsive sounds and procedures for applying results from tests on animals to models for the effect of impulsive sounds on hearing impairment of humans; international consensus on procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of hearing-protection devices and of engineering noise-controls to reduce hearing impairment caused by impulsive sounds; understanding of hearing impairment resulting from occupational and non-occupational exposure to impulsive sounds; international consensus agreement on a damage-risk criterion for impulsive sounds.
Noise Control Engineering Journal, Mar.-Apr. 2005, Vol.53, No.2, p.53-60. 32 ref.
Vardhan H., Karmakar N.C., Rao Y.V.
Experimental study of sources of noise from heavy earth-moving machinery
An experimental study was carried out to investigate the main sources of sound from heavy earth-moving machinery, namely a bulldozer and a front-end loader. Major sound sources were the exhaust and air inlet for the engines, and the engine cooling fan on the bulldozer. Sound from the exhaust was an important source at nominal one-third-octave midband frequencies from 25 to 250Hz; sound from the air inlet was a significant contributor in the range of midband frequencies from 25 to 500Hz. Cooling fan noise for the bulldozer was important in the frequency range from 315 to 3150Hz. For the front-end loader, the enclosed cab in which the operator sits provided good noise reduction at frequencies greater than 400Hz up to 20kHz. Examination of the spectrum of the sound produced by these and other heavy earth-moving machines can indicate the need for maintenance efforts to restore noise-control capabilities that were originally installed or which should be installed.
Noise Control Engineering Journal, Mar.-Apr. 2005, Vol.53, No.2, p.37-42. Illus. 5 ref.
Control of noise at the workplace, a European priority
Lutte contre le bruit au travail, une priorité européenne [in French]
It is estimated that 7% of all European workers suffer from severe hearing disorders caused by occupational exposure to noise. In the European Union, minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to noise are set out in Commission Directive 2003/10/EC (see CIS 06-253), to be transposed into national legislation by February 2006. Contents of this article on the control of noise at the workplace: definition of noise; effects of noise (hearing loss, tinnitus, dual effects of noise and the exposure to ototoxic substances such as solvents); noise control; personal protective equipment.
Face au risque, Sep. 2005, No.415, p.23-25. Illus.
Pearson M., L'Espérance A.
Design of a cost-effective sound intensity meter and preliminary evaluation of a new spatial tracing concept for acoustical intensity mapping
Conception d'un intensimètre économique et évaluation préliminaire d'un nouveau concept de repérage spatial pour la réalisation de cartographie d'intensité acoustique [in French]
Although noise is a major cause of occupational health and safety problems, the lack of effective tools often makes it difficult to analyse its intensity and to implement preventive actions. Sound intensity measuring, the only standardized method for precisely evaluating the acoustical power of noise sources, requires costly equipment and advanced knowledge. The objective of this research project was to design a simpler and less costly sound intensity meter based on digital signal processor (DSP) mapping, and to conduct a preliminary evaluation of a new concept of spatial location. Additional work required for developing system with a user-friendly graphical interface for mapping sound intensity is proposed.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2005. iii, 47p. Illus. 20 ref. Price: CAD 8.56. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-422.pdf [in French]
Trompette N., Cafaxe M.
Computer guide for selecting compressed air exhaust silencers
Guide informatisé pour le choix des silencieux d'échappement d'air comprimé [in French]
Many machines incorporate compressed air actuators, whose exhausts often generate a high noise level. One way of reducing this noise is to use exhaust silencers. Inclusion of a silencer prolongs exhaust time so that, when selecting a silencer, it is necessary to know its exhaust prolongation time and to compare this with the acoustic attenuation provided. The acoustic and pneumatic characteristics of 97 silencers of four different dimensions were measured on a test bench and formed the basis of a catalogue in CD-ROM form that allows the selection of a compressed air silencer according to several criteria. The catalogue provides a tool for the reduction of noise at source from these machines.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 2nd Quarter 2005, No.199, p.9-20. Illus. 9 ref.
http://www.inrs.fr/INRS-PUB/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_search_view_view/B8FA42D5F37AACFCC1257023004C363C/$FILE/nd2226.pdf [in French]
Hoet P., Grosjean M., Somaruga C.
Factors potentially affecting the hearing of petroleum industry workers
This report outlines the physiology of hearing and the mechanisms and types of hearing loss and summarizes factors affecting hearing: age, noise exposure, diseases and chemical exposure. It focuses on the potential ototoxic effects of organic solvents and reviews results of studies of hearing loss among exposed workers in the petroleum, petrochemical and other industries. Also examines the possible synergistic effects of noise and chemical exposure on hearing loss.
CONCAWE, Boulevard du Souverain 165, 1160 Bruxelles, Belgium, June 2005. vi, 66p. 144 ref.
http://www.concawe.org/DocShareNoFrame/Common/GetFile.asp?PortalSource=156&DocID=7776&mfd=off&pdoc=1 [in English]
European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2005. European information campaign: Stop noise!
Europejski Tydzień Bezpieczeństwa i Zdrowia w Pracy 2005r. Europejska kampania informacyjna: stop hałasowi! [in Polish]
Report on the preparations leading up to an informational campaign organized by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in Bilbao, Spain, in cooperation with National Focal Points. The campaign will focus on noise at work and ways of eliminating it. The campaign will conclude with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work during 24-28 October 2005. The coordinator in Poland is the Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research Institute, which has adopted the role of the National Focal Point.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, Jan. 2005, Vol.402, No.1, p.1.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Noise protection for machinery and the workplace - Directives, technical rules, hazard evaluation [Germany]
Lärmschutz an Maschine und Arbeitsplatz - Vorschriften, technische Regeln, Gefährdungsbewertung [in German]
This document consists of a compendium of German legal prescriptions (laws, ordinances and directives), EU directives, and technical rules and standards on noise protection that need to be taken into account in the layout of premises and workplaces, as well as during the installation of equipment and machinery.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. 274p. Illus. 6 ref. Price: EUR 21.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www.baua.de/nn_8514/de/Publikationen/Regelwerke/Rw30,xv=vt.pdf [in German]
Rouilleault H., Guérin F., Gilles M., Molinié A.F., Rousseau T., Rogez I.
Reducing work strenuousness
Réduire la pénibilité au travail [in French]
Collection of articles on work strenuousness. Topics addressed: forms and sources of strenuous work (repetitive physical efforts, exposure to heat or noise, work schedules and speed of work); negotiations on strenuousness in the context of changes to the law on retirement; opinions of various experts on issues including the definition of strenuousness, strenuousness indicators, the relationship between strenuousness and age, and the prevention of strenuous working conditions; evaluation of strenuousness among garbage collectors, women office workers and in the automobile industry; ageing and strenuousness; main points to consider with respect to the prevention of strenuous working conditions; further reading.
Travail & changement, Feb.-Mar. 2004, No.294, p.1-15 (whole issue). Illus. Bibl.ref.
http://www.actal.aract.fr/RessourcesSite/TC/TC294.pdf [in French]
Melamed S., Fried Y., Froom P.
The joint effect of noise exposure and job complexity on distress and injury risk among men and women: The cardiovascular occupational risk factors determination in Israel study
This study sought to explore the possibility that exposure to noise at work might interact with job complexity and gender to affect the incidence of occupational injury among industrial employees. A total of 4084 men and 1643 women from 21 industrial plants in Israel were examined, while controlling for a number of potential confounding variables. Logistic regression results showed that the predictor variables interacted and that the highest injury risk (odds ratio = 2.72) was observed in women with high noise exposure and high job complexity, compared with the referents scoring low on these predictors. The comparable injury risk in men was only 1.3. It is concluded that the joint exposure to noise and high job complexity is disruptive, resulting in higher distress and occupational injury risk, particularly among women.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2004, Vol.46, No.10, p.1023-1032. Illus. 50 ref.
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC)
Control Guide - Management of noise at work
Training material, made up of several modules. Contents includes: workplace assessment; reducing noise through maintenance, modification and upgrading of plant; noise survey reports; costs of noise and benefits of noise control; developing a workplace noise policy; purchasing policy; evaluating noise control options; training and information; personal protection.
Australian Safety and Compensation Council, email@example.com, 1991, reprinted 2004. iv, 177p. Illus. 5 ref.
http://www.ascc.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/C8261E7B-11C2-4820-889B-AF3F55FB02E6/0/noise_control.pdf [in English]
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC)
National code of practice for noise management and protection of hearing at work
This code of practice for noise management and protection of hearing at work provides practical guidance on how this standard can be achieved. Contents: scope and definitions; general principles and responsibilities; noise control planning; engineering and administrative noise control measures; personal hearing protectors; training and education; noise assessments; audiometric testing. Replaces the 1st (1993, see CIS 94-690) and 2nd (2000) editions.
Australian Safety and Compensation Council, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3rd ed., 2004. viii, 40p. 33 ref.
http://www.ascc.gov.au/NR/rdonlyres/6EE85D16-7D1C-4FFC-99E7-E611B7290E18/0/Noise_COP.pdf [in English]
Behar A.., MacDonald E., Lee J., Cui J., Kunov H., Wong W.
Noise exposure of music teachers
A noise exposure study was performed to assess the risk of hearing loss to music teachers as a result of their activities. Noise exposure of 18 teachers from 15 schools was measured using noise dosimeters. The equivalent continuous noise level (Leq) of each teacher was recorded during single activities (classes) as well as for the entire day. A normalized 8-hour exposure, termed the noise exposure level (Lex), was also computed. The measured Leq exceeded the 85-dBA limit for 78% of the teachers. Lex exceeded 85 dBA for 39% of the teachers. Limited recommendations on how to reduce the noise exposures are provided. The need for a hearing conservation program is also emphasized.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Apr. 2004, Vol.1, No.4, p.243-247. 10 ref.
Nguyen S.T., Quynh C.T.
Diseases of seafarers in Vietnam: Preliminary report
This article describes the results of a survey of the prevalence of diseases among Vietnamese seafarers in 2000-2001. Medical examinations were carried out in a group of 450 seafarers and in a control group of 650 shore workers. Noise levels were also measured on 152 ships in port and 144 ships at sea. Compared to the control group, the seafarers recorded more cases of mental and behavioural disorders and diseases of the digestive system. Shore workers recorded more cases of diseases of the eyes and of the genitourinary system. High noise levels were recorded and individual hearing protection was lacking. Noise was considered to be an important work-related exposure for these seafarers.
International Maritime Health, 2004, Vol.55, No.1/4, p.53-59. 10 ref.
Hübner G., Kandelaki D., Kraus M.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Determining the sound power of machines - Systematic errors
Bestimmung der Schallleistung von Maschinen - systematische Fehler [in German]
Acoustic power characterizes the overall level of noise emitted by machinery and equipment. Different countries have adopted different measurement methods. However, these methods often result in conflicting readings for the same machine. Currently, the most frequently used method consists of measuring acoustic pressure, with correction for what is termed near-field error. This report presents the current state of understanding of near-field error together with research findings applicable to various sources.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. 216p. Illus. 51 ref. Price: EUR 18.00.
Schönwalder H.G., Berndt J., Ströver F., Tiesler G.
Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin
Noise in educational institutions - Causes and reduction
Lärm in Bildungsstätten - Ursachen und Minderung [in German]
This report presents the results of a study of noise levels carried out at four primary schools and one secondary school. Measurements included acoustical characteristics and noise levels during 565 hours of classes. Two observers also noted events that gave rise to noise. Findings show that only a few classes met noise level standards. The noise level in classrooms was 50-60dB(A) and sometimes exceeded 80dB(A). Voice was the dominant form of noise. Three classrooms were renovated in order to meet current standards. Architectural measures make it possible to significantly reduce noise levels; however, they should also be accompanied by efforts to train pupils to adopt less noisy behaviour.
Wirtschaftsverlag NW, Postfach 10 11 10, 27511 Bremerhaven, Germany, 2004. 149p. Illus. 33 ref. Price: EUR 14.50.
Engel Z., Augustyńska D., Pleban D.
Noise Control '04 -Testing and measurements
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Noise Control held in Gdynia, Poland, 6-9 June 2004. Plenary sessions and special interest workshops focused on the requirements of European Union directives and their implementation into Poland's legislation, the direction of European standardization efforts, the results of research activities, education and specific technical solutions in the area of noise control. A CD-ROM containing the papers presented in PDF-format and an author index is also included.
Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy-Państwowy Instytut Badawczy, ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa, Poland, 2004. 216p. Illus. Bibl. ref. + CD-ROM.
Noise and ototoxic agents
Bruit et agents ototoxiques [in French]
While exposure to noise remains the most important risk factor for hearing loss, the potential of certain chemical agents to increase the traumatic effects of occupational noise is rarely reported in the literature and is not taken into consideration by legislation. This literature review examined the results obtained from studies of laboratory animals and from epidemiological findings and clinical observations. Hearing loss risk was evaluated firstly after exposures to identified ototoxic agents such as aminoglycosides, diuretics, aspirin, antineoplastic drugs and aromatic solvents, and secondly after co-exposure with noise, whenever such data were available. The review highlights the lack of specific legislation for persons exposed to both noise and chemical agents. Recent experimental data reported in this review should be taken into consideration by regulators in order to reduce the risks to hearing encountered by workers exposed to multiple pollutants.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Oct. 2004, Vol.65, No.6, p.503-512. Illus. 80 ref.
Kock S., Andersen T., Kolstad H.A., Kofoed-Nielsen B., Wiesler F., Bonde J.P.
Surveillance of noise exposure in the Danish workplace: A baseline survey
Noise exposure was measured among 830 workers employed at 91 enterprises selected in each of the ten industries considered to be at high risk of noise exposure in Denmark. The A-weighted equivalent sound level (LAeq) for a full shift was measured by portable dosimeters. A control group of office workers and a sample of residents was investigated according to the same protocol. The LAeq values in the selected industries were highly elevated (mean 83.7dB(A) in comparison with those of the control group (mean 69.9dB(A))). Approximately 50% of the workers were exposed to levels higher than the current threshold limit of 85dB(A), and 20% to more than 90dB(A). Ongoing surveillance of noise exposure using full shift dosimetry of workers in random samples of workplaces most at risk to high noise levels may help reinforce preventive measures.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2004, Vol.61, No.10, p.838-843. Illus. 25 ref.
Comparison of otoacoustic emissions among workers exposed and not exposed to noise
Comparación de emisiones otoacústicas en individuos expuestos y no expuestos al ruido ocupacional [in Spanish]
In this study, the average amplitude of distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE) were compared in 36 volunteers aged between 20 and 30 years, occupationally exposed to noise for at least a year but wearing hearing protectors all day, and 36 unexposed controls of similar age. Results of audiometric tests were normal in both groups. The duration of exposure had little influence on the DPOAE amplitudes. This article underscores the importance of wearing hearing protectors during exposure to noise for avoiding hearing loss.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 2nd Quarter 2004, Vol.11, No.40, p.7-11. Illus.
Noise-induced tinnitus, an occupational and legal medical issue
Los acúfenos inducidos por ruidos, un problema laboral y médico legal [in Spanish]
Noise-induced tinnitus is the term used to describe the hearing of sounds that don't exist physically but that are perceived as real by the patient. In particular, it may be caused by chronic and acute exposure to noise. Although not considered a recognised occupational disease, it may nonetheless be incapacitating. Contents of this review article on tinnitus: description, aetiology; prevalence; pathologies that can cause tinnitus; diagnosis; detecting cases of tinnitus malingering; clinical character of noise-induced tinnitus; medical treatment, permanent disability due to tinnitus (legal basis, scales applied in Argentina and Europe).
Salud Ocupacional, Jan.-Mar. 2004, Vol.XXII, No.88, p.23-31. Illus. 22 ref.
García Callejo F.J., García Callejo F., Velert Vila M.M., de Paula Vernetta C., Morant Ventura A., Marco Algarra J.
Hypoacusia induced by workplace noise among insulin-dependant diabetics
Hipoacusia inducida por ruido laboral en diabéticos insulinodependientes [in Spanish]
Diabetes mellitus alters the rheological properties of blood and is related to a risk of neurosensory hypoacusia. This study was carried out to examine whether noise levels in occupational settings had a more pronounced effect on hearing loss among insulin-dependant diabetic workers and whether there was a correlation between the magnitude of the hearing loss and blood viscosity. The study involved 19 diabetic workers for whom results of audiometric tests conducted five years earlier were available, together with a control group 19 healthy workers exposed to similar noise levels. Results show a statistically-significant increase in binaural hearing loss among diabetic subjects, together with an increase in blood viscosity. A significant correlation between the magnitude of hypoacusia and blood viscosity values at high sheer velocities was also highlighted. It appears that diabetics show an increased predisposition to noise-induced hypoacusia, which may be related to the hyperviscosity syndrome associated with this metabolic disorder.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, June 2004, Vol.L, No.195, p.15-23. Illus. 23 ref.
Uribe Llopis P., Barbero del Palacio P., Bernat Jiménez A., Rodríguez de la Pinta M.L., Cruzet Fernández F.
Preventive action aimed at limiting noise in a hospital laundry
Acción preventiva correctora del ruido en una lavandería hospitalaria [in Spanish]
This article describes the preventive actions that were undertaken in a hospital laundry to lower the noise level below the intervention level 1 specified in Royal Decree 1316/1989 (CIS 91-287). The intervention involved insulating the two industrial dryers that generated high noise levels in all work zones. Noise level measurements were carried out before and after the fitting of the insulating enclosure. Results indicate that an important decrease in noise level was achieved, down to values that do not represent a risk to workers.
Medicina y seguridad del trabajo, Mar. 2004, Vol.L, No.194, p.37-42. Illus. 9 ref.
Boissier M., Ritoux S., Robine E., Vernois G.
Study of the hygienic properties of acoustic panels
Etude des qualités hygiéniques des panneaux acoustiques [in French]
Workers in the food industry are often exposed to high levels of noise that can cause occupational hearing loss. Panels made from porous materials is one way to reduce noise in these workshops; however, their use is often incompatible with hygiene constraints. Manufacturers of acoustic materials are now supplying panels made up of rockwool enclosed in a sealed polyvinyl fluoride film for use in the food sector. The aim of this project was to assess the hygienic qualities of these materials by comparing them to two other materials widely used in this sector, namely glass and extruded ceramics. The tests encompassed cleanability, monitoring bacterial contamination over time, and ageing from repeated high-pressure cleaning operations. Overall, the results are satisfactory, allowing the use of these panels in the food industry.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 2nd Quarter 2004, No.195, p.31-38. Illus. 14 ref.
http://www.hst.fr/inrs-pub/inrs01.nsf/inrs01_hst_view/?SearchView=&Query=2208&SearchMax=all&Start=1&SearchOrder=4&SearchWV=True&SearchFuzzy=False&Count=200 [in French]
Atalla N., Amédin C.H., Atalla Y., Panneton R., Sgard F.
Development of new high-performance absorbing materials for the attenuation of low-frequency noise
Développement de nouveaux matériaux absorbants à hautes performances acoustiques pour diminuer le bruit en basses fréquences [in French]
Conventional acoustic materials used for controlling noise in occupational settings are mainly effective for medium and high frequencies. In an earlier study (Etudes et Recherches R-278, http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-278.pdf), the Occupational Safety and Health Institute of the Canadian Province of Quebec (Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail - IRSST) evaluated the possibilities presented by heterogeneous porous materials that are more effective in absorbing lower frequencies. This document reports on the further modelling and optimisation of these materials during laboratory testing. Work on the project is expected to continue, with the next phases involving additional numerical and experimental studies in areas including the building, aeronautical and automobile industries.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2004. vii, 73p. Illus. 42 ref. Price: CAD 7.49. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-370.pdf [in French]
Marcotte P., Boileau P.E., Boutin J.
Study of the occupational exposure of school bus drivers to noise
Etude de l'exposition professionnelle au bruit des conducteurs d'autobus scolaires [in French]
During the last few years, several school bus drivers have complained about the high level of noise during their work. This project on the evaluation of the risk of hearing loss among these workers was conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Institute of the Canadian Province of Quebec (Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail - IRSST), following a request by the school transport association of Quebec (Association du transport écolier du Québec - ATEQ). Exposure of drivers to noise was measured, and the daily noise dose received was computed. The importance of total exposure compared to reference values was also evaluated, together with respective contributions of various sources of noise. The analysis of the results shows that the driving of school buses does not present a serious risk of occupational hearing loss.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2004. v, 32p. Illus. 5 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-364.pdf [in French]
Le R., Laliberté P.
Design of a hearing protector that suppresses dominant noise
Conception d'un protecteur auditif à suppression de bruits dominants [in French]
Miners generally work with noisy tools and equipment in enclosed areas that are prone to echoing. To protect themselves against ambient noise, they wear conventional hearing protectors such as earmuffs or earplugs. However, these protective accessories mask out all types of signals, including voices and alarms. The aim of this project was to develop a device capable of attenuating the noise from tools and equipment while allowing voice and alarm signals to be heard. Two prototypes of hearing protectors fitted with electronic circuits were developed and tested. Results obtained in the laboratory with a pure sound showed some promise. However, results obtained in practical situations were disappointing. More advanced research will be required for the concept to be of practical use.
Institut de recherche en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2004. iv, 34p. Illus. 32 ref. Price: CAD 5.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-361.pdf [in French]
Management of noise in construction
Boj proti hluku ve stavebnictví [in Czech]
Hantering av buller vid byggnadsarbete [in Swedish]
Lärmmanagement im Bausektor [in German]
Meíōsē (éleghos) tou thorúbou ston kládo tōn kataskeuṓn [in Greek]
La gestión del ruido en el sector de la construcción [in Spanish]
Müra vähendamine ehitustöödel [in Estonian]
Melun hallinta rakennustoiminnassa [in Finnish]
La gestion du bruit dans la construction [in French]
Zajszabályozás az építőiparban [in Hungarian]
Gestione del rumore nell'edilizia [in Italian]
Triukšmo statyboje reguliavimas [in Lithuanian]
Trokšņa ierobežošana būvniecībā [in Latvian]
L-immaniġġjar ta'l-istorbju fil-kostruzzjoni [in Maltese]
Lawaai in de bouwsector [in Dutch]
Kontrola hałasu w budownictwie [in Polish]
Gestão do ruído no sector da construção [in Portuguese]
Riadenie hluku pri stavebnej činnosti [in Slovak]
Obvladovanje hrupa v gradbeništvu [in Slovenian]
Håndtering af støj i bygge- og anlægssektoren [in Danish]
Exposure to loud noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage, workplace accidents and be a contributing factor to other health problems. This fact sheet provides an introduction to the management of noise in construction both before and during work on a site. Contents: noise in construction; managing noise before and during work on the site; assessment; collective control measures; personal hearing protection; training; health surveillance and monitoring.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, http://osha.eu.int, 2004. 2p. Illus. 5 ref.
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/en/FACT50-EN.PDF [in English]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/cs/FACT50-CS.PDF [in Czech]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/da/FACT50-DA.PDF [in Danish]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/de/FACT50-DE.PDF [in German]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/et/FACT50-ET.PDF [in Estonian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/el/FACT50-EL.PDF [in Greek]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/it/FACT50-IT.PDF [in Italian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/lv/FACT50-LV.PDF [in Latvian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/hu/FACT50-HU.PDF [in Hungarian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/lt/FACT50-LT.pdf [in Lithuanian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/mt/FACT50-MT.PDF [in Maltese]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/nl/FACT50-NL.PDF [in Dutch]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/pl/FACT50-PL.PDF [in Polish]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/pt/FACT50-PT.PDF [in Portuguese]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/sk/FACT50-SK.PDF [in Slovak]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/sl/FACT50-SL.PDF [in Slovenian]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/fi/FACT50-FI.PDF [in Finnish]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/sv/FACT50-SV.PDF [in Swedish]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/fr/FACT50-FR.PDF [in French]
http://agency.osha.eu.int/publications/factsheets/50/es/FACT50-ES.PDF [in Spanish]
Landen D., Wilkins S., Stephenson M., McWilliams L.
Noise exposure and hearing loss among sand and gravel miners
The objectives of this study were to describe workplace noise exposures, risk factors for hearing loss and hearing levels among sand and gravel miners, and to determine whether full shift noise exposures resulted in changes in hearing thresholds from baseline values. A total of 317 sand and gravel miners were interviewed regarding medical history, leisure-time and occupational noise exposure, other occupational exposures and use of hearing protection. Audiometric tests were performed before the work shift and immediately after the work shift. Full shift noise dosimetry was conducted. It was found that overall, sand and gravel workers have excessive noise exposures and significant hearing loss, and demonstrate inadequate use of hearing protection. Well-designed hearing conservation programs, with reduction of noise exposure, are clearly needed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Aug. 2004, Vol.1, No.8, p.532-541. Illus. 17 ref.
Larané A., Jacques J.
Noise - Stalking by the decibel hunters
Nuisances sonores - La traque des chasseurs de décibels [in French]
According to the SUMER 1994 survey, it is estimated that close to 1.8 million workers in France are exposed to sound intensities of more than 85dB(A), threshold above which regulations require the implementation of preventive measures. This feature article describes various methods for measuring noise intensity at the place of work, reports on the efforts undertaken on noise control by various enterprises and presents some of the developments carried out by the French Occupational Safety And Health Institute (INRS), in particular a computer tool entitled "RAYPLUS Acoustique" for predicting noise levels. Contents: hazard identification; evaluation of permissible levels; limitation of noise at source; interventions in enterprises; comparative analyses of equipment; noise measurement standards.
Travail et sécurité, Feb. 2004, No.637, p.13-22. Illus. 8 ref.
Luna Mendaza P., Guasch Farrás J.
Estimation of the effective attenuation of hearing protectors
Estimación de la atenuación efectiva de los protectores auditivos [in Spanish]
Hearing protectors need to comply with certain requirements concerning noise attenuation. Noise attenuation is constant for each octave band, but the overall attenuation differs according to the noise frequency spectra. This information note describes the methods used for calculating the various noise attenuation indices that allow the determination of the effective residual noise load at the ear. Contents: definition of the various noise level attenuation parameters; octave band method; H, M and L method; SNR (Single Number Rating) method; example simulating the exposure of a worker as a function of time and use of hearing protectors.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 5p. Illus. 2 ref.
http://internet.mtas.es/Insht/ntp/ntp_638.htm [in Spanish]
Le bruit [in French]
Prolonged exposure to noise can result in hearing losses that appear only progressively but that are permanent, which is why prevention is important. Contents of this information leaflet on the prevention of noise at the workplace: legal aspects (current Belgian regulations on the exposure of workers to noise and new European Directive 2003/10/EC); effect of noise on work efficiency (arousal, effects of music during work, excessive error levels and stress, diminished concentration); environment, lifestyle and noise levels; hearing protection (noise reduction at source, soundproofing, hearing protection, hearing protector selection criteria).
PREVENT, rue Gachard 88, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium, 2004. 4p. Illus. 4 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Noise at woodworking machines
Some of the noisiest working environments are found in the woodworking industries. Noise levels can vary widely from machine to machine depending on conditions of use. This information note explains what can be done by the manufacturers and suppliers of woodworking machines as well as by purchasers and users of these equipments to reduce both noise emission at source and exposure.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, May 2003. 4p. 15 ref.
Directive 2003/10/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 February 2003 on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (noise) [European Union]
Directive 2003/10/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 6 février 2003 concernant les prescriptions minimales de sécurité et de santé relatives à l'exposition des travailleurs aux risques dus aux agents physiques (bruit) [Union européenne] [in French]
Directiva 2003/10/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, de 6 de febrero de 2003, sobre las disposiciones mínimas de seguridad y de salud relativas a la exposición de los trabajadores a los riesgos derivados de los agentes físicos (ruido) [Unión europea] [in Spanish]
This is the 17th individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC (see CIS 89-1401). Contents: aim and scope (it lays down the minimum requirements for the protection of workers against the possible effects of noise, especially insofar as they pose a risk to hearing); definitions; exposure limit values (87dB(A) and 200Pa) and exposure action values (80-85dB(A) and 112-140Pa); obligations of employers (determination and assessment of risks, provisions aimed at avoiding and reducing exposure, personal protection, limitation of exposure, worker information and training, consultation and participation of workers); health surveillance; derogations. Council directive 86/188/EEC (see CIS 87-45) is repealed.
Official Journal of the European Union - Journal officiel de l'Union européenne, 15 Feb. 2003, Vol.46, No.L 42, p.38-44.
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2003/l_042/l_04220030215en00380044.pdf [in English]
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/fr/oj/dat/2003/l_042/l_04220030215fr00380044.pdf [in French]
http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/es/oj/dat/2003/l_042/l_04220030215es00380044.pdf [in Spanish]
Noise on construction sites
Le bruit des chantiers [in French]
Faced with the dual obligation to protect the health of workers and to take precautions to limit undesirable levels of noise emissions in the neighbourhood, it is in the interests of construction enterprises to adopt noise management methods. However, their adoption largely depends on the willingness of the enterprises. This feature on noise management consists of two articles. The first recalls the main components of an approach founded on good practice (informing the neighbours, managing noise at the construction site, responsibilities of the contracting authority), while the second deals with regulatory issues.
Revue de médecine du travail, Mar.-Apr. 2003, Vol.XXX, No.2, p.52-55. Illus. 6 ref.
Chang T.Y., Jain R.M., Wang C.S., Chan C.C.
Effects of occupational noise exposure on blood pressure
In a study of 20 workers in an automobile manufacturing company, 24-hour blood pressure and 16-hour noise exposure were measured continuously. Occupational noise levels ranged from 85±8dBA for high-exposure workers to 59±4dBA for low-exposure workers. The systolic blood pressure of the high-exposure workers was significantly higher than that of the low-exposure workers during the working period and the sleep period. Diastolic blood pressure was higher in the high-exposure workers over 24 hours and over the working period. Results indicate that occupational noise exposure has both transient and sustained effects on workers' systolic blood pressure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2003, Vol.45, No.12, p.1289-1296. Illus. 29 ref.
McBride D.I., Firth H.M., Herbison G.P.
Noise exposure and hearing loss in agriculture: A survey of farmers and farm workers in the Southland region of New Zealand
This study involved a questionnaire survey and audiometric testing of 586 farmers and farm workers and noise level measurements on 60 farms. Noise levels ranged from 84.8 to 86.8 dB(A) and hearing losses were consistent with this level of exposure. Age, driving tractors without cabs and working with metal were important risk factors. Reported compliance with hearing protection was higher than that actually observed. While the majority of farmers had a moderate risk of hearing loss, a significant minority were at high risk. Elimination and isolation of noise sources are the control methods of choice.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2003, Vol.45, No.12, p.1281-1288. Illus. 16 ref.
Śliwińska-Kowalska M., Zamyslowska-Szmytke E., Szymczak W., Kotylo P., Fiszer M., Wesolowski W., Pawlaczyk-Luszczynska M.
Ototoxic effects of occupational exposure to styrene and co-exposure to styrene and noise
The effects on hearing of occupational exposure to styrene and of combined exposures to styrene and noise were evaluated in 290 yacht yard and plastics factory workers and in a control group of unexposed and noise-exposed workers. Subjects were assessed by means of a detailed questionnaire and audiometric examinations. There was an almost four-fold increase in the odds of developing hearing loss from styrene exposure. In cases of the combined exposures to styrene and noise, the odds ratios were two to three times higher than the respective values for styrene-only and noise-only exposed subjects. The mean hearing thresholds were significantly higher in the solvent-exposed group than in the unexposed reference group at all frequencies tested. The study provides evidence that occupational exposure to styrene is related to an increased risk of hearing loss. Combined exposures to noise and styrene seem to be more ototoxic than exposure to noise alone.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2003, Vol.45, No.1, p.15-24. Illus. 17 ref.
Makarewicz G., Zawieska M. W.
Application of genetic algorithms for active noise attenuation
Zastosowanie algorytmów genetycznych do aktywnej redukcji hałasu [in Polish]
Although genetic algorithms originate in biological sciences, they are increasingly used in different technical disciplines. This article presents the concept of an elementary genetic algorithm. Some possibilities for applying genetic algorithms to active noise reduction are described.
Bezpieczeństwo pracy, Jan. 2003, No.1, p.4-6. Illus. 5 ref.
Berbare G.M., Fukusima S.S.
Hearing loss induced by high-speed motors among professional odontologists and odontology students: Audiometric analysis at frequencies ranging from 250Hz to 16kHz
Perda auditiva induzida por ruído de motores de alta rotação em odontólogos e alunos de odontologia: análise audiométrica em freqüências entre 250Hz e 16kHz [in Portuguese]
The objective of this study was to determine whether odontology students and dental surgeons were at risk of hearing loss related to the noise from high-speed motors used in this profession. The study involved 80 students and 40 dentists exposed to noise, together with a control group of 20 dentists unexposed to noise. All participants were subjected to audiometric examinations for frequencies ranging from 250Hz to 16kHz; those handing mercury were further subjected to a urinary mercury determination. Hearing loss was observed among 5% of the students and 70% of the dentists. Dentists exposed to noise showed a more pronounced hearing loss and higher levels of urinary mercury.
Revista brasileira de saúde ocupacional, 2003, Vol.28, No.107/108, p.29-38. Illus. 24 ref.
de Souza L.H., Fernandes H.C., da Vitória E.L.
Evaluation of noise levels caused by different groups of mechanical equipment
Avaliação do nível de ruído causado por diferentes conjuntos mecanizados [in Portuguese]
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the noise levels emitted by various agricultural machines in order to determine the risks faced by operators during work in the fields. The equipment evaluated included a tractor coupled to a plough, a grader, a liquid manure spreader and a sower, as well as a harvester. Trials were carried out with the tractor coupled to each of these devices while being driven at different speeds with the engine turning at 1700 rpm. The harvester was also tested at different speeds. Noise levels recorded to the left and right of the operator were very high and exceeded permissible levels. The noise generated by the equipment was unpleasant to the operator, the most unpleasant being that generated by the harvester. The noise levels of the tractor and harvester engines at standstill were also very high and presented a risk not only to the operator but also to persons situated near the machines.
Revista brasileira de saúde ocupacional, 2003, Vol.28, No.105/106, p.21-30. 24 ref.
Taleb A., Brahim B.M., Benrezkallah L., Benkalfat F.Z.M.
Noise exposure, psychosocial environment and arterial hypertension in occupational settings
Exposition au bruit, environnement psychosocial et hypertension artérielle en milieu de travail [in French]
The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of arterial hypertension in workers of industrial companies and to establish the existence of possible correlations between high blood pressure and stress resulting from negative psychological working environments or noise. Participants consisted of all 2156 workers of twelve industrial companies, aged between 20 and 60 years. Subjects were given a questionnaire on their personal characteristics and were subjected to blood pressure measurements. This screening resulted in a study population of 121 persons with hypertension and a control group of 163 workers without hypertension chosen at random from the same source population. Participants responded to a second questionnaire on hypertension risk factors and were subjected to a job strain test based on the Karasek model, clinical examinations, biological testing and an evaluation of personal exposure to workplace noise. Statistical analysis of the findings confirmed the existence of a causal relationship between exposure to job strain factors or to noise and high blood pressure.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, June 2003, Vol.64, No.4, p.246-252. 28 ref.
Cambou J.P., Cothereau C., Cantet C., Garneau M.J., Tournon C.
Role of audiometry in the management of occupational exposure to noise above 85dB: Results of the SURDIPOSTE survey
Place du bilan audiométrique dans la maîtrise du risque d'exposition à des bruits supérieurs à 85 décibels: résultats de l'étude SURDIPOSTE) [in French]
The objectives of this study were to classify railway industry occupations according to the risk of hearing loss associated with exposures to noise levels above 85dB and to highlight occupations where preventive actions need to be focused. This cross-sectional study involved 3150 noise-exposed and 636 non noise-exposed subjects recruited among French railway workers. Conventional frequencies audiometry (0.5-4kHz) was used to assess the hearing loss of each subject. The threshold used for hearing impairment was 30dB or more on the best ear. Multivariate analysis allowed a classification of the occupations according to the prevalence of hearing loss. The prevalence of hearing loss differed widely, varying from 2% to 21% among exposed subjects compared to 1.9% among non-exposed subjects. Among the 21 occupations studied, 9 were identified as being at high risk of hearing loss, 7 at moderate risk and 5 at low risk, comparable to that of the control group.
Archives des maladies professionnelles et de médecine du travail, Dec. 2003, Vol.64, No.7-8, p.486-494. Illus. 14 ref.
Babisch W., Ising H., Gallacher J.E.J.
Health status as a potential effect modifier of the relation between noise annoyance and incidence of ischaemic heart disease
Traffic noise is a psychosocial stressor. Epidemiological studies suggest chronic noise stress to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disorders. The association between annoyance and disturbances due to road traffic noise and the incidence of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) was examined in 3950 middle-aged men in a prospective cohort study. Depending on the questionnaire item, non-significant odds ratios for IHD incidence ranging from 0.9 to 1.4 were found for the highly noise annoyed/disturbed subjects when compared with the less annoyed/disturbed subjects, over the six year follow up period. However, this relation was strongly modified by the prevalence of pre-existing chronic IC. In subjects free of any chronic disease at the beginning of the follow up, significant odds ratios between 1.7 and 3.0 were seen. In the subgroup with chronic diseases, no such noise effects were seen, probably because of the dilution of the true effect due to recall bias. It is concluded that annoyance and disturbance due to road traffic noise are associated with a higher incidence of IHD. Prevalence of disease can be an important effect modifier of the relation between noise annoyance and health outcomes.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Oct. 2003, Vol.60, No.10, p.739-745. 65 ref.
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