Noise monitoring surveys determine noise levels in the workplace that workers’ are exposed to. As an employer, this OSHA-mandated requirement helps ensure your employees are not being exposed to noise levels above the standard level for time periods above what is permissible. OSHA requires employers to perform noise monitoring when employee noise exposure “may equal or exceed an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) of 85 dB.” OSHA defines two methods of noise monitoring:
Area Noise Sampling
Area Noise Sampling is conducted with a sound level meter — a handheld noise measuring device. This meter is used to take general noise measurements of a facility which can then be documented in a noise map or a table showing exposures in each area. This method is best used for areas where noise levels are fairly steady and employees are fairly stationary.
Benefits of a Sound Level Meter
- Provides detailed information about the source of noise
- Easy to use and does not disturb the worker
- A sound level meter can be used to measure a specific situation or activity or machine operation
- If needed, noise level can immediately re-measured with ease
Personal Noise Sampling
Personal Noise Sampling is completed by using a Dosimeter. It is small enough for an employee to wear throughout a shift and travel from one place to the next with ease. This device measures and records a worker’s complete noise exposure over an extended time. A time-weighted average (TWA) is determined from the recording. This method is best used when noise levels are intermittent or fluctuate and/or employees move around during the shift.
employees are required to participate in Dosimetry. It is beneficial for one or two employees from each area to participate in order to gather noise sampling information from each part of the facility.
Benefit of a Dosimeter
- Provides noise level measurement specific worker/area
- Easy to use and does not require a noise assessor to be present throughout the day
- Used in restriction or controlled environment where noise assessor cannot use a sound level meter
As an employer, you are required to repeat noise surveys whenever there is a change in processes, procedures, or exposure time that may lead to changes in employee noise exposures. Contact Center for Industrial Audiometrics today to request a Noise Sampling Consultation!
4300 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72903