Australia and New Zealand
Noise and Vibration in the Workplace Articles
The April issue of Acoustics Australia, the journal of the Australian Acoustical Society, focuses on noise and vibration in the workplace with fourteen papers, three forum articles, plus relevant items in the news and notes by the special-issue editor, Pam Gunn.
Starting with control of noise at the source (as one should!), Peter Wilson of the UK INVC gives an update of his well-known “Top 10” noise control solutions, some of which can be shown to be self-financing, thus dispelling the myth that all noise control is too difficult and expensive. For some of the trickier low-frequency noise situations in large vehicle cabins, Jie Pan of the University of Western Australia presents the successes he has had with active noise control. Important “Buy Quiet” initiatives in both the USA and UK are discussed by Bryan Beamer from NIOSH and Paul Brereton and Jacqueline Patel from UK HSE respectively. Thais Morata, also of NIOSH, shows how an awards scheme can uncover case studies on effective hearing loss prevention. Elizabeth Brueck from the UK HSL gives us tips from her many years of experience in accurately measuring the risk of high impulsive noise, including the latest advances in hearing protector assessment in such situations. Initiatives to prevent hearing loss in the USA construction industry are summarized by Scott Schneider of the Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund of North America, and noise exposure and education among fitness instructors in NSW is presented by Valerie Nie and Elizabeth Beach from the University of Newcastle and Macquarie University. To round off the noise section, Marion Burgess and Brett Molesworth from the University of NSW investigate the noise reduction of in-use aviation headsets, including those with active noise-cancelling features.
The vibration section opens with Daniel Arquero and Paul Taylor from SWA providing background to recently published guidance material on management of both hand-arm and whole-body vibration. Rebecca Devine relays a success story about workers and contractors of a Queensland aluminium company promoting hand-arm vibration (HAV) awareness and encouraging controls in management. Paul Pitts and Paul Brereton of the UK HSL and HSE generously share their latest development of simple tools to support HAV exposure evaluation drawn from years of gathering real-world vibration measurements. The table of typical vibration magnitudes should prove particularly useful as it is an update on the one in the present Australian guidance. Also from the UK HSL, Susan Hewitt, in collaboration with colleagues from the USA NIOSH, gives us the latest research on the efficacy (or otherwise) of “anti-vibration” gloves. To conclude the section, Robin Burgess-Limerick from the University of Queensland presents a review of measuring and managing workplace whole-body vibration, and includes his recent work on monitoring using an iOS application.
Complementing these papers and technical notes in the formal section of the issue are three contributions to the “Acoustic Forum” section. One is by Luciana Macedo from 3M who discusses developments in individual fit-testing for personal hearing protectors. Kate Lewkowski from Curtin University summarizes the program for the noise part of the Australian Workplace Exposure Survey (AWES). Richard Glover from LimitEar in the UK provides an overview of the options for managing the personal hearing exposure for those wearing headsets.
In the “Notes” section, there is a summary of current and recent Australian research work on workplace noise control and hearing conservation education, as well as information on progress with the international standardization of using otoacoustic emissions to monitor hearing in workers.
The issue (Acoustics Australia, volume 44, no. 1, April 2016) is available from the Springer website:http://www.springer.com/engineering/journal/40857. The “News Item” that includes the abstracts of all the papers, forum articles, plus the news and notes, is open access. The papers by the UK HSE authors are also open access. Access to the full text of the other articles is via Springer subscription, or individual articles can be purchased from Springer.
Coincidentally, volume 29 of the journal of the Acoustical Society of New Zealand has a similar focus—occupational noise in New Zealand. The issue comprises three papers on occupational noise incidence, legislation, and controls in smaller enterprises in New Zealand and is freely available fromhttp://www.acoustics.org.nz/.
Japanese Ministry of the Environment: Wind Power Plants
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment released an interim report on their website last February of an investigation on the method of evaluating the noise of wind power plants (wind turbine noise). Construction of wind power plants has been subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, based on the revised Implementing Order enforced in October 2012. However, it is essential to fully understand the unique nature of wind power plants, which affects noise characteristics, by taking account of the latest scientific knowledge in order to establish a method for investigation, modeling, and evaluation of wind turbine noise. The investigative committee, organized by the Ministry, separated the results of the investigation into two categories, “clarified” and “not clarified,” on the basis of collected data and knowledge so far, and published this interim report to provide useful information to the stakeholders, including wind power producers, plant manufacturers, national and local governments, and local residents. The Ministry, who is undertaking another study of both noise effects on people and regulations in other countries concerning wind turbine noise, in parallel to this investigation, plans to compile a final report with conclusions about the remaining challenges from the interim report. To view the report in Japanese, see https://www.env.go.jp/air/noise/wpg/160226huusyasouon_tyuukantorimatome.pdf.
INCE/Japan General Assembly
INCE/Japan (INCE/J) held the 2016 general assembly on May 30, 2016, in Tokyo. At the assembly, new officers and members of the board of directors were approved for the next two-year term. The new president is Yasuo Inoue (INC Engineering), and the two vice presidents are Shinichiro Iwamiya (Kyushu University) and Hiroaki Ochiai (Kobayasi Institute of Physical Research). Several awards were also presented at the assembly. The Research Achievement Award was awarded to two members for their distinguished services on transportation noise control engineering, the Environmental Design Award to a company and two nursery schools, the Publication Award to four authors of a book on “Barrier Free and Sound,” and the Young Researcher Award to six young researchers for their paper presentations at the autumn technical meeting last year. Afterward, two plenary lectures were addressed: “The Trend of the National Noise Policy” by Mimi Nameki (Ministry of the Environment), and “Similarity and Difference between Odor and Sound” by Yoshiharu Iwasaki (Japan Association on Odor Environment). As of March 2016, according to the report of annual activities of INCE/J, total membership is at 890 members and 278 organizations, and the number of paper presentations and participants at the last two technical meetings were 68/251 (September 2015) and 18/138 (May 2016) respectively. In addition, the Social Contribution Committee of INCE/J performed three social contribution activities during fiscal 2015: (1) participated in the Environmental and Recycling Festival of Chiyoda-Ward, Tokyo, to provide an experience corner to learn about sound, (2) participated in a summer event in Nagoya, under the sponsorship of Aichi Prefecture, for children to learn about the environment, and (3) hosted a training session on the stench, noise, and vibration in Tokyo under the cosponsorship of INCE/J and Odor Environment Association.
Journal of INCE/J: Sports and Sound
The first issue of this year’s bimonthly Journal of INCE-J (volume 40, no. 1) focused on sports and sound. It contains two review articles: “Sound Capturing Technique in the Sports Broadcasting” and “On Auditory Environment Surrounding Athletes,” and five technical materials: “Effect of Sports Onomatopoeias Used in Sport Scene,” “Vitality Enhancement by Utterance during the Competition,” “Referee Whistle, Timbre Adjusted According to Sporting Events,” “Acoustic Equipment of Sports Facilities,” and “Noise Problems around Sports Facilities.” The second issue of the journal (volume 40, no. 2) focused on control engineering for vibration and structure-borne sound. It contains two review articles: “Vibro-Acoustic Noise Control Introduction” and “Ship Noise Control Engineering,” and six technical materials: “Countermeasures for Ship Noise,” “Control Technology for Bridge Vibration and Infrasound Due to Running Vehicles,” “Control Technology for Vibration and Structure-Borne Sound by Railway,” “Vibration Control in the Factory,” “Internal Vibration Control for Steel Construction Housing,” and “Vibration and Structure-Borne Sound Control for Synchronous Jumping Excitation.”
Acoustical Society of Japan General Assembly
The Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ) held its 2016 general assembly on May 28, 2016, in Tokyo. At the assembly, ASJ awarded the Achievement Award to three members for their distinguished services on research works in the fields of noise, supersonic sound, and infra and low frequency sound, and for their contributions to the Society. The Technology Development Award was given to two supporting organization members. After the meeting, a plenary lecture was addressed: “Infra-Sonic Wave Originated from Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Ocean Waves” by Kiwamu Nishida (University of Tokyo). As of March 2016, according to the report of annual activities of the Society, total membership is at 4,055 individual members and 286 organizations. In addition, the ASJ spring technical meeting was held in Yokohama March 9–11, 2016, as reported in the NNI 2015 December issue. The number of paper presentations and participants was 635 and 1,382 respectively. Among the ten structured sessions, thirteen papers were presented in the session of “Roles of Auditory Research in Clinical Issues on Hearing Difficulties,” seven papers in “Disaster Monitoring Using Infrasound,” eleven papers in “Towards the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020: From the Viewpoints of Barrier-Free Acoustics,” fourteen papers in “Development and Possibility of Sound Trademark,” eleven papers in “Current Research Topics on Outdoor Emergency Sound System,” and ten papers in “Advanced Demonstrations and Tools in Acoustics for Education and/or Research.” ASJ also awarded two technical papers (SATO Paper Prize), two researchers (Environmental Acoustics Award), one young researcher (ITAKURA Memorial Original Research Award), and five young researchers for their paper presentations at the 2015 autumn technical meeting (AWAYA Kiyoshi Young Researcher Award).
AUSTRALIA and NEW ZEALAND: Marion Burgess. JAPAN: Secretariats of INCE/J and ASJ and Ichiro Yamada.