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Noise risk assessment in a bottling plant of a modern Italian winery


In the wine industry, bottling is a phase of the production cycle characterized by high levels of noise, mostly owing to repeated collisions between the bottles. In Italy, the Law Decree 81/2008 defined the requirements for assessing and managing noise risk, identifying a number of procedures to be adopted at different noise levels to limit worker exposure. This study was aimed at evaluating the equivalent and peak noise level inside the bottling plant area of a modern Italian winery. In particular, the influence of the working capacity (number of bottles produced per hour) on noise levels was evaluated. Three test conditions were considered: T1 with a working capacity of 4000 bottles/h; T2 with working capacity of 5000 bottles/h; and T3 with working capacity of 6000 bottles/h. Fifteen measurement points were identified inside the bottling area. The instrument used for the measurements was a precision integrating portable sound level meter, class 1,model HD2110L by Delta OHM, Italy. The results indicated that, as the bottling plant working capacity increased, noise levels increased. The measured sound levels exceeded the limits allowed by the regulations in all of the test conditions. Values exceeding the threshold limit of 80 dB(A) were recorded, increasing to a maximum value of 95 dB(A) in test T3. In this case, the operator working along the bottling line was obliged to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.