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

Reproduction of industrial sound environments for use in audibility studies on alarms and other sound signals for occupational health and safety: proof of concept


Excessive noise in industrial environments reduces the audibility of alarms and warning signals and, consequently, worker safety around dangerous or moving equipment. A number of studies have addressed the audibility of backup alarms because deaths are still reported despite the use of such alarms.

Since 2012, the Groupe d’Acoustique de l’Université de Sherbrooke (GAUS) has had a 96-speaker Wave Field Systhesis laboratory system for wave field reproduction. The only one of its kind in Québec, this system was developed for the music industry and can reproduce complex virtual sound environments.

This study will assess thE reproduction system’s ability to faithfully simulate an industrial sound environment. In this case, audibility studies can be performed in laboratory with human subjects, alarms and warning signals, hearing protection, etc., in a variety of test conditions and environments, something that is difficult to achieve in an industrial environment.