What do I need to measure, the noise in my plant is average?

Well since a significant amount of hearing loss is attributed to the workplace, you may want to be able to confirm or deny the noise level. The number of cases where we need documentation that there is no exposure is astonishing. Often I hear “If only we had some data!”. More importantly the law requires that employers provide workers a safe place to work. There is no excuse for ignorance.

What is Dosimetry?

A measure of the noise that the person is exposed to as a percentage of the maximum allowable exposure. Anything over 100 is bad news. If you have over 50% you must develop a program to educate test and protect your people. A Noise dosimeter is worn for a complete work shift by several workers in each department and on each shift. The dosimeter collects the noise levels for each person and must be downloaded after each shift. The noise levels are integrated and a noise dose is calculated. Cal-OSHA has specific requirements for the noise levels, the regulations are also found in the Federal OSHA standards .

What is SPL?

Sound pressure level, way beyond this information page. Actually it is the actual mechanical energy that sound produces.

Is hearing loss an important consideration?

You bet it is. The literature indicates that it may be better to lose your sight than to lose your ability to hear. The annual cost for noise related hearing loss is significant. Some scientists believe that hearing loss attributed to old age is really noise induced hearing loss.

What does OSHA say about Noise?
Well I think some of the best information about noise and dosimetry happens to be in the
OSHA Technical Manual .

What about a Noise Meter?
The there are basically three types of sound level meters. Type I is a research grade instrument. Type II is the minimum grade for compliance work. Type III is usually sold at retail stores, the accuracy is an estimation and they are not suitable for enforcement work. See
ANSI for more detailed information.

Noise Monitoring seems pretty expensive, why is that?
The instruments are costly, around 1000.00 apiece. The annual cost of calibration is around 200.00 each. The
equipment rents are high your best bet is to find a CIH or CSP who owns the equipment. The owned Equipment is usually around 10,000.00 plus around 1000.00 a year for calibration costs. The professional who owns his equipment is the person with the best ability to use the equipment and provide the service to you at the most competitive rate.

What is Noise or Sound Monitoring anyway?

Noise monitoring is the careful evaluation of a work site. Measurements are taken near the noise sources and workers tasks are evaluated. Then if conditions require it workers wear small badge like devices that integrate and record the workers noise exposure. ( Dosemeters or dosimeters)

What is Octave Band Analysis?
That is a special noise survey done at the sound or noise source. The resulting analysis can be used to select the correct hearing protection devices, or to develop engineering controls. Engineering controls are sound barriers, equipment redesign or other methods to lower the noise (SPL).