KANBrief 3/18

Noise emission information: a machinery manufacturers’ guide

Noise harms workers and has hidden costs. The NOMAD (NOise and MAchinery Directive) Task Force group has produced guidance on how machinery manufacturers should declare noise from machines in order to fulfil the essential requirements on noise of the Machinery Directive. NOMAD is a joint project of the Member States and supports the Administrative ­Co-operation Group for Market Surveillance under the Machinery Directive (Machinery ADCO).

The New Approach Directives have greatly facilitated and simplified the free trade in machines within the European Market. However, they also create a great challenge for free and fair competition, since not all products to which the CE mark has been applied by their manufacturers would be found compliant with the requirements of the applicable Directives. Accordingly, in order to assure free and fair competition, the Member States must establish ways of conducting adequate market surveillance and ensuring that the EU Directives are being complied with.

For these reasons, and with a common objective of the machines put into service in the European Union being safer and generating fewer risks to the health of workers, the Euro­pean ­NOMAD Task Force, supported by the Administrative Co-operation Group for Market Surveillance under the Machinery Directive, carried out a pre-market surveillance exercise. Its purpose was to assess the degree of compliance with the noise information requirements of the Machine­ry Directive for machines marketed and put into service from the year 2000 until the year 2012.

The main result was: “The general state of compliance of machinery instructions with the noise-related requirements was found to be very poor: 80% of the instructions assessed did not meet the requirements”.

Guide to help manufacturers meet their obli­gations

Responsibility for compliance with the essential health and safety requirements of the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and with the Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC – and for the consequences of non-compliance – always lies with manufacturers. However, the NOMAD study showed that many cases of non-compliance by manufacturers were due to lack of knowledge of the legal requirements.

One of the first tasks that the NOMAD Task Force carried out at European level was therefore to produce a “Guide for manufacturers” on how to declare noise emission values in instruction manuals and other literature in accordance with Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC and Outdoor Noise Directive 2000/14/EC.

The Guide has been developed by repre­sentatives from France, Germany, the Nether­lands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and agreed upon by the Machinery ADCO. Its aim is to help the manufacturers with their responsibilities regarding noise. Available in six languages, the Guide explains the means by which manufacturers can obtain the required noise emission values for their machines, and how to present it in the instruction manual supplied with the machine and in technical sales literature.

The recommendations made in the Guide apply to all machines covered by the Machinery Directive, including machines for outdoor use, which are covered at the same time by the Outdoor Noise Directive. The Guide makes recommendations on how to declare the noise emission values to satisfy both directives.

The Guide assists manufacturers in fulfilling their legal duties to declare noise emission values in a form that helps the user of the machine to understand and apply the information provided by the manufacturer.

Finally, the Guide also includes selected examples, observed during the NOMAD study, of common errors typically found in noise emission data reported in the instruction manuals. Recommendations on how to avoid these errors are provided in the Guide.

An ADCO NOMAD “Buy Quiet” Guide for purchasers and users of machines is in preparation.

On behalf of the NOMAD Task Force:
Begoña Juan y Seva Guevara (Spain)
Jean Jacques (France)


NOMAD Task Force members:
Johanna Bengtsson Ryberg (SWEA, Sweden)
Paul Brereton, Jacqueline Patel, Tao Wu
Fabian Heisterkamp, Patrick Kurtz
(BAuA, Germany)
Bruno Caraud, Jean Jacques (DGT, France)
Begoña Juan y Seva Guevara (INSST, Spain)
Dick Korver (SZW, Netherlands)
Contact: NOMAD.Task.Force@hse.gov.uk

The Guide (in German/English/Spanish/French/Dutch/Swedish) can be downloaded free of charge.