IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Evaluation of broadband backup alarms


Numerous serious accidents involving vehicles driving in reverse are recorded every year. It is therefore essential to ensure the optimal design of backup warning alarms in order to alert workers and help them locate the vehicle driving in reverse, while limiting discomfort due to noise. Sound alarms offer an advantage over visual warnings since they usually capture people’s attention. However, accidents can occur in noisy work environments when the sound alarms are not heard or are ignored. Recently, a new type of backup alarm was developed in Europe and has arrived in North America. This alarm, based on the use of broadband frequency noise, would have several advantages, but no in-depth study has yet evaluated its performance in the workplace.
This project will verify whether this technology improves the detection and auditory localization of the alarms of vehicles driving in reverse. The project’s results will help workplaces in their choice of backup alarms in order to ensure worker safety.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-7180
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2012
  • Hugues Nélisse (IRSST)
  • Chantal Laroche (Université d'Ottawa)
  • Christian Giguère (Université d'Ottawa)
  • Véronique Vaillancourt (Université d'Ottawa)
  • Jérôme Boutin (IRSST)