NPR 3438:2007

NPR 3438:2007

Ergonomics - Noise at the workplace - Determination of the amount of disturbance of communication and concentration



This practical guideline gives target values for acoustic environment relating to limiting the disturbance of communication and concentration at the workplace. Testing noise level at the workplace against target values for allowed noise between 35 dB(A) and 80 dB(A) in combination with the acoustics makes it possible to make a statement on the degree of disturbance. Because it has been found that above a noise level of 80 dB(A) a risk of hearing damage occurs, an action and limit value for this has been included in the Dutch legislation. At noise levels above this limit their reduction has priority. Application of the practical guideline to assess disturbance of communication and concentration by noise levels above this limit is therefore not meaningful. It is however possible to determine by how much the noise level has to be reduced to prevent disturbance. For information on measuring high noise levels in addition to the section in the Occupational Health and Safety Decree, please refer to NEN 3418. Required verbal communication, such as conversations in which one is oneself participating, just as much as unwanted noises result in a certain noise level. However, in the context of this practical guideline such verbal communication is not included in the calculation of the level of disturbing noise. The target values given in this practical guideline indicate what noise levels should not be exceeded for certain work. It is possible that these values cannot always be achieved in practice, either for technical or economic reasons. In those cases one can aim for the lowest possible noise level and the best possible acoustic climate (pay attention among other things to the reverberation time). Criteria that may fall outside the scope of this practical guideline may lead to different requirements. If these relate to conflicting requirements, the target values from this practical guideline may be used as a minimum. In a specifically designed room with special room acoustics use of the instructions may cause problems. Furthermore some rooms have a specific function for which higher noise levels are required. For these rooms the practical guideline also does not apply. Examples of excluded rooms are: auditoriums, churches, theatres, concert halls, cinemas and discotheques. Adjoining rooms such as boxes, cloakrooms and entrances do however fall under the practical guideline. The practical guideline does not apply to noise in motor vehicles. For motor vehicles please refer to NEN ISO 5128. The purpose of the practical guideline is to give directions for building and housing projects and for evaluation and review processes such as risk assessments. The content of the practical guideline is therefore aimed at making information accessible about preventing disturbance of communication and concentration and at providing technical information to experts.

Additional Info

Author NEN
Document type Standard
ICS 13.140 : Noise with respect to human beings
13.180 : Ergonomics
Number of pages 31
Replace NPR 3438:2006 Ontw. nl