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Abstract

The NOMAD project was a survey to examine the noise-related content of instructions supplied with machinery offered for purchase in Europe. The project collected more than 1 500 instructions from machines covering 40 broad machine-families and from 800 different manufacturing companies. These instructions were analyzed to determine compliance with the requirements of the Machinery Directive, and assess the quality of information. The general state of compliance of machinery instructions with the noise-related requirements of the Machinery Directive was found to be very poor: 80% of instructions did not meet legal requirements. Some required numerical values relating to noise emissions were often missing. Where values were given, they were often not traceable to machine operating conditions or measurement methods, and not credible either against stated conditions/methods or as warnings of likely risk in real use. As a consequence, it is considered highly likely that, in making a machinery procurement decision, employers are prevented from taking noise emissions into account, and understanding what is necessary to manage the risks from noise relating to equipment that is procured. Recommendations are made for actions aimed at bringing about a global improvement to the current situation. Targeted actions are now proposed by “ADCO Machinery Group” aimed at raising awareness of the legal requirements, responsibilities and actions required among the various groups who have parts to play in the system - machine manufacturers, machine users, occupational safety and health professionals, and standards-makers. Recommendations are also made aimed at providing, or improving, tools and resources for all these actors.
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