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What's the right noise monitoring tool? The difference between noise dosimeters & sound level meters

The workplace is an everyday place where hearing loss can occur. Which tools should be part of a hearing conservation program?


Choosing tools for your hearing conservation and noise monitoring programNoise pollution exists in various working environments, from underground mining to construction to oil and gas to the military. Occupational hearing loss is one of the most common work-related illnesses in the United States. Even activities such as operating a lawnmower or working amidst crowd noise can expose workers to potentially dangerous decibel levels. NIOSH estimates that 22 million U.S. workers are exposed to noise levels high enough to cause irreversible hearing loss.

Noise Monitoring

Employers must monitor noise levels to ensure they don't exceed regulatory limits and cause permanent hearing loss. Monitoring noise is an effective way to identify worker exposure to elevated noise. It delivers precise data into noise levels so safety managers can make informed decisions about the level of prevention needed to eliminate the threat. Monitoring equipment safety managers use to measure the noise exposure of a worker in the workplace. The primary devices used for sound monitoring are sound level meters and noise dosimeters.

What's the difference between sound level meters and noise dosimeters?

Sound Level Meters

A sound-level meter is a hand-held device that allows a safety professional to take measurements at the operator's ear level with the instrument pointing at the noise source. Sound Level Meters are used when you need to know the noise level of a task, process or how noisy a piece of machinery is in the workplace. In other words, a sound level meter helps identify areas with elevated noise levels occur. 

Noise Dosimeters

Noise dosimeters are used when you need to find the noise exposure of a worker. They are typically small and mounted on the shoulder of the worker. The worker wears the instrument throughout the day to find the total amount of noise they are exposed to.

More details about noise monitoring tools

TSI® Quest™ brand of sound level meters and noise dosimeters provide safety professionals with comprehensive information on noise sources and employee noise exposure to make informed safety decisions. Lightweight and versatile, Quest™ products monitor noise and sound levels in a wide variety of working environments.

Posted on Mar 01 2021 13:46
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