Open workshop addresses the question of quiet machinery

24 May 2013

Health and Safety Executive (HSE)visit website


The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is promoting the ADCO-Machinery open Workshop on the NOMAD survey Quiet machinery – Higher competitiveness and better health. The workshop takes place on Tuesday 18 June 2013 at the Hotel Le Plaza, Bd Adolphe Max 118-126 Brussels 1000, Belgium.

According to the HSE, quieter machines result in:

  • Fewer cases of hearing damage
  • Easier communications in factories
  • Improved hearing of warning signals
  • A better motivated workforce
  • Improved concentration over longer periods
  • Fewer days lost to sickness from noise-related stress
  • As a result of the above, lower noise-related costs for companies and society

When assessing the suitability of a machine, performance parameters like power output, speed and production rate come high in the list of selling/purchase parameters. Today these parameters are often widened to sustainability, energy consumption, recyclability, etc. But are noise emissions considered?

The NOMAD survey was carried out jointly by 14 member states under the auspices of ADCO-Machines. NOMAD found that 80 per cent of the noise declarations reviewed in 1500 instruction manuals did not satisfy the requirements of the European Machinery Directive and Outdoor Noise Directive.

Manufacturers of machines and employers have clear legal duties to reduce and manage risks from noise, but they are not the only players. Professional buyers, occupational health and safety experts, national authorities (labour inspectors and market surveillance bodies), Notified Bodies, standard writers and others also bear some responsibility.

Employers are legally obliged to manage the noise exposure of workers and to consider low noise emission when purchasing or hiring equipment. However, they seldom use the noise emission data or ask manufacturers for this data. They therefore miss out on the social and economic benefits they could be gaining by buying quieter machines.

To book a place at the Open Workshop or for further technical information, contact , or .

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