KAN Report 8
|Noise protection for machinery and workplace - status of and need for occupational health and safety standardization, 10/1996, H. Lazarus et al. (3 MB)|
Bookmarks in the pdf file link directly to the individual chapters. In the list of bookmarks, all sections available in English and French are highlighted in colour.
1. The analysis of the need for standardization for noise protection, especially for fixing noise parameters, is based on a status review of national, European and international standards. Acoustics and noise protection standards (primarily basic standards) are, according to the Vienna Agreement, drawn up largely at ISO level and then adopted by CEN.
2. The standardization concept is based mainly on the EC Machinery Directive (89/392/EEC), the EC Framework Directive on occupational health and safety (89/391/EEC), the EC Directive on noise protection at the workplace (86/188/EEC) and on national regulations where standardization in the field of the health and safety of workers at work was analyzed according to the criteria of the "German Consensus Statement...".
3. The authors of the study recognize a considerable need for action in order to improve the way noise protection is dealt with in national and European standardization.
II. The need for standardization resulting from the Machinery Directive for noise-emitting machinery
4. Basic standards (B-type standards) for measuring and reducing noise as the basis for safety standards specific to machinery (C-type standards) are largely complete or exist as working documents. Implementation of standards, however, is unsatisfactory in terms of both scope and quality:
In C-type standards the requirements of the basic standards are often not taken sufficiently into account and not applied uniformly. Noise is frequently not considered a significant hazard, the possible noise reduction measures are not applied to the relevant machinery category and information on measuring procedures for specific machinery is neither homogeneous nor clear.
5. With approximately 400 projects, the need for standardization and revision of relevant C-type standards is considerable and timely; preparation is distributed among 50-150 standards bodies. Nevertheless, these standards should be completed quickly.
6. Better co-operation between manufacturers, operators, acoustics experts and between committees specific to machinery and acoustics at national and European level is necessary in order to eliminate standardization deficits.
III. Standardization concept with regard to sound emission and the significance for occupational health and safety
7. The aim of the standardization concept - to establish machinery-related noise parameters as an instrument for reducing noise pollution at the workplace - should be assessed positively. However, European C-type standardization projects are yet to meet requirements for establishing clear and reproducible noise parameters (both for comparing emissions from machinery in the same performance category and for calculating noise immission and therefore assessing pollution at the workplace) satisfactorily. The following action is required:
- Information on methods of measuring noise emissions, emission value ranges and concrete reduction measures should be included sufficiently in standards specific to machinery.
- In addition to the emission sound pressure level at the workplace, standards should also state the machine's most important noise emission parameter - the sound power level in realistic operating conditions - even in cases in which only the sound pressure level is required by law.
- The standardization concept should include all sound sources,
i.e. machinery, including noise-emitting work processes, transport systems and tools.
IV. Analysis and assessment of the state of the art
8. The interpretation of the term "state of the art" varies considerably at both national and European level; nevertheless, EU directives and regulations still refer to this term. In standardization, sound levels are described with the help of noise parameters instead. The state of the art can generally be derived from these sound levels.
9. In order to analyze and assess the state of the art with regard to noise reduction there is a need for standardization:
- For establishing and presenting the noise parameters of individual part areas of noise protection (source, transmission paths, immission point);
- For determining the state of the art for noise reduction using sound level or sound quality. Sound levels contained in standards will clearly strengthen occupational health and safety.
10. There is a need for standardization for individual aspects of noise protection
- For machinery:
- For emission parameters for machines and large mechanical plant, but also for individual machine components,
- For implementing the basic standard to the specific machinery in order to establish the state of the art for noise-reducing machinery technology,
- For specific noise measuring procedures for tools,
- For specific measuring procedures for transport systems,
- For listing sound levels in C-type standards.
- For sound-proofing products:
- For assessing sound level reduction achieved by sound-proofing products in specific machinery categories or branches of industry;
- For buildings, rooms:
- Standardization in this area is essentially sufficient, but model solutions (e.g. in informative annexes) for specific branches of industry are desirable;
- For workplaces:
- For calculating noise immissions at individual points (the calculation of an average noise parameter for a whole room is regulated by standards).
In order to make it easier to design low-noise workplaces, noise reduction measures, existing noise parameters and attainable values for individual part stages of noise reduction for selected machinery groups, areas of activity and branches should be combined in VDI directives.
11. Greater account must be taken of noise reduction back at the machinery design phase.
V. Need for national regulation for evaluating immissions
12. Processes for a noise forecast based on emission parameters, acoustics data from work rooms and existing standards should be developed further.
13. In Germany there is a need for VDI directives etc. on branch-related model solutions and attainable noise immission values. This does not affect existing limit values according to the workplace regulation and the relevant accident prevention rule "Noise".
14. A VDI directive should be drawn up for both infrasound and ultrasound describing measuring, assessment and layout measures and possibly listing guide values.
VI. Analysis and evaluation of standardization in view of the "German Consensus Statement"
15. Standardization has proven worthwhile for noise protection at the workplace and in particular for machine safety within the framework of occupational health and safety.
16. Noise pollution at the workplace is determined mainly by technical products and facilities which can be attributed to EU directives based on Article 100a of the EC Treaty.
17. It is a good idea to work out methods of calculating noise parameters for work rooms (e.g. background noises, sound-proofing products, emission sound pressure level of machinery) and describe the immission values derived from them in standards. Noise reduction requirements should also be regulated in standards.
18. Standards on the design of low-noise work equipment, methods, rooms and workplaces touch upon directives based on Article 118a of the EC Treaty with the majority coming under the exceptions formulated in the "German Consensus Statement". The standards simply list how demands for a high level of noise protection can be achieved and in which area (actual status) the level lies, but leave the choice of measures up to those responsible for occupational health and safety.
19. As regards procedures for establishing noise parameters and the presentation and recommendation of certain sound levels for occupational health and safety areas, which can be attributed to directives based on Article 118a (e.g. assessment level), the usual national methods and procedures must be applied.
20. Due to different national assessment methods, the noise protection level in Germany may in some cases be higher than in other European countries. This means that corresponding European standards can only be agreed to if the procedures fixed in Germany are mainly incorporated into standards.
21. As far as noise immissions are concerned, the description of assessment procedures and recommendation of sound levels in European standards according to the state of the art is not suitable unless the level of occupational health and safety is acceptable.
The report gives a good overview of existing knowledge at the time of the analysis. It provides information on the need for standardization for machine safety and noise protection, especially with regard to supplementing the Machinery Directive.
Need for action from DIN
1. DIN is requested to suggest to its reflecting committees for specific machinery that an increased amount of data, experience and material on measuring procedures, emission values and noise reduction methods be collected at national and European level for the purpose of European standardization and to take account of this information when drawing up and revising standards.
2. The standards bodies and prenormative research should carry out the following preparatory work with the aim of standardizing noise protection in
- Checking and modifying operating conditions,
- Developing simple emission measuring procedures for large machines,
- Testing out concrete noise reduction measures for specific machinery,
- Collecting and presenting emission values (actual status).
3. DIN is requested to draw up a concrete guide via NALS on the application of B-type standards based on the Brussels CEN Seminar "Noise and Vibrations" from January 19/20, 1995 (see point 21).
4. In co-operation with relevant DIN bodies (NAM, DKE, NASG etc.), DIN is requested to develop a guide via NALS on drawing up C-type standard for a uniform method of analyzing the risks and causes of "noise emissions". There is also need for a corresponding guide on estimating noise immissions at the workplace (see point 21).
5. DIN is requested to propose that, representatives of NALS together with representatives of the standards bodies for specific machinery, manufacturers and machine operators support the following points within the framework of standardization:
- Procedures for establishing and providing information on the noise emission values of all noise-emitting products
- Collecting and presenting existing noise parameters
- Deducing sound levels, taking account of noise reduction measures if applicable,
- Preparing proposals for the design of low-noise products.
6. DIN is requested to enforce the following points in European standardization via the national reflecting committees (NALS, working committees for specific machinery):
- Sufficient information on emission measuring procedures, on emission value ranges and reduction measures in C-type standards,
- General recommendation of the sound power level to be stated in standards if a significant risk is involved,
- Application of the standardization concept on noise-emitting work processes, transport systems and tools.
7. NALS is requested to continue developing existing VDI directives on noise parameters, attainable values and overviews of noise reduction measures for individual part stages of noise reduction in various areas of industry (e.g. sheet-metal working) and to draw up any necessary new VDI directives in order to provide safety professional with a collection of the necessary data for carrying out inspections in practice (see point 21).
8. DIN (NALS, committees for specific machinery, NAM, DKE etc.) is requested to check whether noise parameter value ranges (actual status) for individual areas of noise protection (source, sound-proofing products, building, workplaces) are provided in standards. If not, they should be compiled and then specified in standards.
9. DIN (NALS, committees for specific machinery, NAM, DKE etc.) is requested to check standards and standardization projects to find out if sound level/quality is used to stipulate the state of noise reduction technology. If not, the relevant standards and standardization projects should be modified to this effect.
10. DIN (NALS, committees for specific machinery, NAM, DKE etc.) is requested to check national or European standards and standardization projects for:
- For emission parameters for individual machine components and large plant; for applying the framework standard to specific machinery in order to determine the state of noise-reducing machinery technology; for specific measuring procedures for transport systems, work processes and tools; for fixing sound levels in C-type standards;
b) Sound-proofing products:
- For assessing sound level reduction achieved by sound-proofing products in specific machinery categories or branches of industry;
- For calculating noise immissions at individual points of a room.
DIN is requested to inform the KAN Secretariat of results (points 8 - 10) so that the necessary standardization applications can be submitted in accordance with point 21.
11. DIN is requested to update existing German standardization on assessing occupational noise, especially VDI 2058.3.
12. DIN is requested to have a collection of examples included in ISO/TR 11688 so that noise reduction can be taken sufficiently into account as early as the machinery design phase.
13. DIN is requested to inform NALS (and NALS to inform CEN/TC 211) in good time via the national reflecting committees of CEN/TCs and CENELEC/TCs for specific machinery about relevant working documents and draft standards on noise-related problems so that existing experience and knowledge of noise measurement and reduction can be used in the different committees and introduced into European standardization collectively by German parties. Experience shows that suitable standards, parts of standards and comments could be prepared professionally in close co-operation in working groups of experts for specific machinery, some of which already exist (NALS, NAM, DKE etc.). This has been done, for example, for foundry machinery with regard to noise measurement and reduction.
14. With regard to noise measurement and reduction in B-type standards, DIN is requested to improve the transfer of knowledge from DIN NALS or CEN TC 211 (acoustics), concerning B-type standards on acoustics for example, to the national reflecting committees of CEN/TCs for specific machinery.
15. NALS is requested to draw up a VDI directive for both infrasound and ultrasound for the purpose of measurement, assessment and design measures.
Need for action from the social partners
16. The social partners should use the research funds made available at European level by the EU Commission to strengthen the scientific basis of European industry (4th framework programme).
17. The social partners should support at European level the activities introduced in CEN BTS 2 AH 16 in order to create the basis for machine safety standards with regard to noise protection.
18. The social partners are requested to support the results and conclusions of the study at European level.
Need for action from technical occupational health and safety bodies in the field of noise
19. The technical bodies of the Berufsgenossenschaften (statutory accident insurance institutions) and of the state (BIA, BAU etc.) are requested to check carefully the attainable values listed in the working documents and draft standards.
20. The technical bodies are requested to help the KAN Secretariat draw up standardization applications (see point 21).
Need for action from KAN and its Secretariat
21. The KAN Secretariat is instructed to co-ordinate the application procedure for the standardization projects mentioned under points 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 15 or to submit the necessary standardization applications itself.
22. The KAN Secretariat should encourage research institutes to develop the methods for noise forecast further based on existing standards.
23. KAN should try to persuade the occupational health and safety agency in Bilbao to collect acoustics data from standard machinery at European level.
24. KAN should discuss whether it is possible to accept those European standards which touch upon the German Consensus Statement, but which have a sufficiently high level of occupational health and safety and fully incorporate the processes stipulated in Germany (e.g. for recommendations of certain sound levels).
All institutions represented in KAN are requested to support standardization by making available the emission data necessary for stipulating sound levels.
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