2012-11-01 12:00 - Messages

Scientists study how noise bursts affect concentration

Noise can be distracting, especially to a person trying to concentrate on a difficult task. Studying annoying noises helps architects design better building environments and policy makers choose effective noise regulations. To better understand how short noise bursts affect humans’ mental state, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln played quarter-second-long white noise clips to test subjects as they worked on arithmetic problems. The researchers noticed a slight general trend towards lower performance when louder noises were played and also identified sound level ranges that caused participants to report significant levels of annoyance. The researchers report their findings at the 164th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), held 22-26 October in Kansas City, Missouri.

Source : http://www.safetysolutions.net.au/news/56739?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ss_1210_4&utm_content=ss_1210_4+CID_88d81952949a012455b8d63387c0dec3&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_term=READ%20THE%20FULL%20STORY

Un nouveau spot de sensibilisation sur le bruit

Plusieurs millions de salariés français sont quotidiennement exposés à des niveaux sonores élevés. Quels sont les risques ? Comment les prévenir ? Une nouvelle vidéo de l'INRS permet de découvrir en quelques minutes tout ce qu'il faut savoir sur le bruit au travail.

Source : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/header/actualites.html


Distortions in the processing of suprathreshold temporal cues may add to difficulties in hearing in adverse listening conditions

Primary goal of this research was to explore temporal processing and speech perception Skills in individuals who are exposed to occupational noise of more than 80 dBA and not yet incurred clinically significant threshold shifts. Contribution of temporal processing skills to speech perception in adverse listening situation was also evaluated. Results showed a trend of reduced temporal processing skills in individuals with noise exposure. These deficits were observed despite normal peripheral hearing sensitivity. Speech recognition scores in the presence of noise were also significantly poor in noise-exposed group. Furthermore, poor temporal processing skills partially accounted for the speech recognition difficulties exhibited by the noise-exposed individuals. These results suggest that noise can cause significant distortions in the processing of suprathreshold temporal cues which may add to difficulties in hearing in adverse listening conditions.

Source : Kumar UA, Ameenudin S, Sangamanatha AV. Temporal and speech processing skills in normal hearing individuals exposed to occupational noise, Noise & Health, 2012, vol. 14, no 58, p. 100-105.



Uptake and quality of health surveillance for hand-arm vibration and noise exposure - A telephone based survey among dutyholders

Health surveillance (HS) is the systematic supervision of workers looking for early signs of work-related ill health in employees exposed to certain hazards. Health surveillance for hand-arm vibration (HAV) is largely based on the collecting of appropriate symptoms in individual workers, while quantitative pure-tone audiometry is a large element of HS activity for noise. This report details a telephone-based questionnaire study on the uptake and quality of HS for the hazards of noise and HAV. The study was undertaken during 2009-2010 and was centred on an agreed number of industry sectors, where the risks from such hazards are generally considered to be high. A total of 632 companies were involved. The levels of uptake of HS presented in this report appear better than data collected in 1995 and similar to that from 2004 for HAV. The size of the firm, rather than industry sector, is important in defining the uptake of HS, with smaller firms having a lower uptake. The results clearly demonstrate and provide further evidence of the specific needs of SMEs in relation to HS for noise and HAV.

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr948.pdf

Noise control applications of novel material made of jute : reduction of radiated noise levels of 6 dB and 10 dB

Material used for noise control applications should possess good sound absorption and dampening properties. In this work, the authors have focused on noise control applications of novel material made of jute which is a readily available, cheap and biodegradable natural fiber. Based on physical, flammable and acoustical properties, jute felt shows good sound absorption properties which has been used for noise control in a domestic clothes dryer and a vacuum cleaner. The noise sources in these appliances were ranked by measuring their radiated sound intensity levels. An overall reduction of radiated noise levels of 6 dB and 10 dB were obtained in the domestic dryer and the vacuum cleaner, respectively, by using the developed jute felt.

Source : Fatima, S.,  Mohanty, A.R. Noise control of home appliances - the green way . Noise & Vibration Worldwide, vol. 43, no 7 / July 2012, p. 26-34, DOI : 10.1260/0957-4565.43.7.26


Work-related noise may contribute to physical and mental health problems in teachers

Empirical research indicates that children and teachers are exposed to mean sound levels between 65 and 87 dB (A) and peak sound levels of 100 dB (A) in schools, which may lead to hearing loss and mental health problems. A questionnaire containing 13 targeted questions about noise and sensitivity to noise was distributed to 43 teachers aged between 25 and 64 years at five different primary schools in the Cologne municipal area. The small number of interrogated teachers leads to a wide range of deviation and little significance in the results. Thus, several results are reported following tendencies. Significant results are obtained when comparing younger and older teachers and part- and full-time occupation. Teachers experience highest sound levels in the schoolyard, corridors and classrooms, and 68% of the teachers are annoyed by the noise. Specially, teachers older than 45 years of age suffer from sleep disturbances (44%), and 90% of the full-time employees are tired and exhausted in the evening. Work is judged as physical and mental strain by 51% of the whole sample, and 81% of the older teachers report a significant increase of complaints with increasing years of professional activity. Work-related noise may contribute to physical and mental health problems in teachers. Measures to prevent disease, such as early sensitization of the children to the work-related stressor noise by adequate education with noise lights and dosimeters in the classroom and/or equipping rooms with sound-absorbing materials, have to be discussed.

Source : Eysel-Gosepath, K., Daut, T., Pinger, A., Lehmacher, W., Erren, T. Effects of noise in primary schools on health facets in German teachers. Health & Noise, 2012, vol. 14, no 58, p. 129—134.


Conduite des engins de chantier : comment réduire les vibrations ?

La conduite d’un engin de chantier est souvent synonyme de vibrations. Par l’intermédiaire du siège, le conducteur assis ressentira ces vibrations dans l’ensemble du corps. Pour le conducteur debout, c’est le plancher qui transmet ces vibrations. Subies de façon intensive et répétitive, ces vibrations peuvent générer des douleurs dans le dos. C’est ainsi que chaque année, près de 400 cas d’affections chroniques du rachis lombaire liés aux vibrations sont reconnus par la Sécurité Sociale, plus de 150 concernent des conducteurs d’engins de chantier. De façon réglementaire, des valeurs limites d’expositions aux vibrations ont été définies dans la directive européenne « Vibrations », (2002/44/CE du 25 juin 2002) transposé en droit français par le décret 2005-746 du 4 juillet 2005 et son arrêté d’application du 6 juillet 2005. L’employeur a l’obligation d’évaluer, et parfois mesurer si nécessaire, les niveaux de vibrations mécaniques auxquels les salariés sont exposés. Des mesures de prévention visant à supprimer ou à réduire les risques résultant de cette exposition doivent ensuite être mises en place.

Pour en savoir plus :

Le guide de l'INRS : http://www.inrs.fr/accueil/produits/mediatheque/doc/publications.html?refINRS=ED%206130

Le GNMST BTP (Groupement National Multidisciplinaire de Santé au Travail dans le BTP) vient de réactualiser sa FAN Vibrations (Fiche actualisée de Nuisance). Cette fiche propose une analyse en 10 points du risque Vibration : définition de la nuisance ou situation dangereuse; danger; tâches et postes; niveau d’exposition; conditions d’exposition; facteurs individuels; barème de décision; contenu des actions : surveillance légale, action médicale renforcée, prévention, réparation et secours; remarques; bibliographie.
Accès à la FAN : http://www.forsapre.fr/fan/fan_fiche_imp.asp?id_fan=52&code=73154073

Source : http://www.preventica.com/actu-enbref-conduite-engins-chantier-vibrations-1291012.php


Working with vibrating machines with noise exposure increases the risk of hearing loss

The aim of this study was to examine the possible association of combined exposure of noise and hand-arm vibration (HAV) and the risk of noise-induced hearing loss. Workers in a heavy engineering industry were part of a dynamic cohort. The results show that working with vibrating machines in an environment with noise exposure increases the risk of hearing loss, supporting an association between exposure to noise and HAV, and the noise-induced hearing loss.

Source : Hans Pettersson, Lage Burström, Mats Hagberg, Ronnie Lundström, Tohr Nilsson. Noise and hand-arm vibration exposure in relation to the risk of hearing loss. Health&Noise, 2012, Vol.14, Issue 59, Page 159-165. 


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