NIOSH encourages employers, workers to use its noise level mobile app
Posted February 6, 2019
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) encourages employers and workers to use its noise level mobile application (app), which measures workplace sound levels. The Agency says an estimated 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels each year and that employers spend nearly $242 million annually on workers’ compensation for occupational hearing loss disability.
NIOSH’s sound level meter app provides a readout of the noise level using the built-in microphone (or external microphone if used) and reports the instantaneous sound level in A, C, or Z-weighted decibels. Users can save and share measurement data, and if location services are enabled, the app can use the GPS feature to provide an exact geospatial location of the noise measurement.
The app also provides up-to-date information on what noises are considered hazardous, how to conduct noise measurement, how to properly select a hearing protector, and guidelines for preventing hearing loss. Technical support is available directly from NIOSH hearing experts.
NIOSH establishes recommended exposure limits (REL) for various hazards based on the best available science and practice. The REL for noise is 85 decibels, as an 8-hour time-weighted average. Exposures at or above this level are considered hazardous to a worker's hearing.
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