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Workplace Noise Safety Standards

Workplace Noise Safety standards address potentially harmful or distracting noise at workplaces that are relatively low-noise. Office environments, while certainly quieter than a construction site, still constantly subject employees to significant levels of noise, especially since office employees don’t generally wear hearing protection. The combination of background chatter, printers or other machinery, and other human activities such as movement combine to create a noise level that, while unlikely to lead to damage, is capable of affecting concentration, and therefore productivity. Furthermore, isolated sources of loud noise such as server rooms present another challenge. Workplace noise safety standards guide the planning of office layouts, appropriate material selection for walls and ceiling, and the prediction of future noise levels.

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ANSI/ASA S12.19-1996 (R2011)

Measurement of Occupational Noise Exposure

The standard presents methods that can be used to measure a person's noise exposure received in a work place. The methods have been developed to provide uniform procedures and repeatable results for the measurement of occupational noise exposure.

ISO 11690-1:2020

Acoustics - Recommended practice for the design of low-noise workplaces containing machinery - Part 1: Noise control strategies

This document outlines strategies to be used in dealing with noise problems in existing and planned workplaces by describing basic concepts in noise control (noise reduction, noise emission, noise immission and noise exposure). It is applicable to all types of workplaces and all types of sources of sound which are met in workplaces, including human activities. It includes those important strategies to adopt when buying a new machine or equipment. This document deals only with audible sound.

ISO 11690-2:2020

Acoustics - Recommended practice for the design of low-noise workplaces containing machinery - Part 2: Noise control measures

This document deals with the technical aspects of noise control in workplaces. The various technical measures are stated, the related acoustical quantities described, the magnitude of noise reduction discussed, and the verification methods outlined. This document deals only with audible sound.

ISO/TR 11690-3:1997

Acoustics - Recommended practice for the design of low-noise workplaces containing machinery - Part 3: Sound propagation and noise prediction in workrooms

Deals with sound propagation together with the prediction of sound pressure levels at the workplace. Contains recommendations concerning the use of noise prediction as an aid for noise control.


As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.