Protecting employees from damage caused by noise

CURRENTA soundproofing technology experts support customers with expertise

Dr. Robert Tischtau (left) and his employees Volker Thele (center) and Markus Fuchs (right) advise CURRENTA customers on noise protection.

An alarming trend is emerging in Germany: more and more people are already hard of hearing by the age of 60. Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common occupational diseases in Germany. CHEMPARK sites are exposed to a wide range of noise levels – from quiet to loud. The experts at CURRENTA’s noise abatement technology are familiar with all the nuances. "We measure our customers’ operations at fixed intervals and provide advice on preventive and protective measures", says Dr. Robert Tischtau, Head of "Noise in the Workplace" at CURRENTA. Together with his experienced team, he is on the trail of sound at CHEMPARK.

Every plant manager is legally obligated by the Noise and Vibration Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance to protect his employees from hearing-damaging noise above 85 dB(A)*. Tischtau advises its customers intensively regarding all existing regulations and is constantly expanding its know-how for the benefit of its customers. This means that CURRENTA customers can benefit from his many years of experience and in-depth knowledge and, with the support of the noise professional, can fully comply with this officially monitored process for noise protection of their employees.

Another particular advantage for customers at CHEMPARK is the sound inspectors’ excellent local knowledge and fast response times. If a company calls in because something noisy has been noticed, Tischtau and its employees are quickly on site and also take measurements outside of the regular monitoring sessions.

Quality is the trump card

"I have been working with the issue of noise in the workplace for thirteen years", Robert Tischtau, head of the noise control department at CURRENTA, is committed to protecting his own ears and those of CHEMPARK employees. "It’s a field that continues to excite me, simply because it’s so important. For me, excellent technology and the continuing education of my employees are the be-all and end-all for our success as a DIN-accredited testing laboratory."

The area has just successfully completed its DAKKS reaccreditation, which takes place every five years. The accreditation certificate and the corresponding annex can be found on the CURRENTA website. The regular assessments of CURRENTA sound insulation technology in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 are an important element in the quality assurance of the field.

Your employees work – we measure

Thermal exhaust air incineration plant in Dormagen: Measuring the sound exposure with a hand-held sound level meter for a metalworker performing work with the Flex.

Particularly in the focus in the enterprises with the topic sound are the workplaces of the coworkers in production, camp and workshop areas, in addition, laboratories, measuring stations, offices, break areas and much more applies it to seize. While the employees are working on site, the two CURRENTA sound insulation technology experts Markus Fuchs and Volker Thele carry out their measurements. Finally, it is important to survey noise exposure in the work process – to do this, the measurement takes place close to the employee’s ear. For most on-site measurements, they use a hand-held sound level meter, a small high-tech device that even fits in their jacket pocket. For long-term measurements, there is also the option of clipping a miniature measuring device, known as a dosimeter, to the employee’s work clothing. The employee wears it throughout the shift – Thele and Fuchs evaluate the results afterwards.

Often make comparative measurements: In the same work area with several employees. Here’s how they can determine cross-sectional load. "Every audible noise is sound", says Thele. "So the air vibrations that are perceptible to humans via hearing." The measured values are given in decibels, or dB for short.

"Above 85 dB(A)*, the sound generated by air vibrations is not only disturbing and sometimes annoying, but can also damage human hearing if not adequately protected", Fuchs makes clear how important the results of the two sound seekers are. When it comes to the precise analysis of all measured values, they always work closely together according to the four-eyes principle. All results are then summarized in a risk assessment with the necessary measures and recommendations are made as to how noise exposure can be kept as low as possible, for example through technical or organizational noise reduction measures or ultimately also through an expansion of personal protective equipment.

Give your ears a break

Rattling, roaring, banging, hammering – the ear is exposed to everyday noise 24 hours a day, especially in a big city. Doctors therefore advise "Give your ears a break." How can that work? – Just escape from the noise, turn off the radio or TV and take a walk in the woods. Experts know that even 15 minutes of silence is good for the ear. Because we all forget very quickly: If cells in Corti’s organ in the inner ear, the actual sensory organ, are destroyed by too much noise exposure, it means permanent damage. The cells do not grow back, the damage to the hearing is permanent.

* dB(A) The A indicates that you are measuring the sound spectrum as it is perceived by human hearing.

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