How Is Noise Measured?
There are several ways to measure noise at work, including the following:
Using a sound level meter: A sound level meter is an instrument that measures the intensity of sound in decibels (dB). It can be used to measure the noise level at a specific location or over a period of time.
Using a noise dosimeter: A noise dosimeter is a portable device that measures the amount of noise an individual is exposed to over a period of time. It is often worn by workers to monitor their noise exposure and ensure that it does not exceed recommended levels.
Using a noise monitoring system: A noise monitoring system consists of sensors that are placed around a work area to continuously measure the noise level. The data from the sensors is transmitted to a central location, where it can be analyzed and used to identify noise hazards and develop control measures.
Conducting a noise survey: A noise survey involves systematically measuring the noise levels at different locations within a work area. This can be done using a sound level meter or a noise dosimeter. The results of the survey can be used to identify noise hazards and develop control measures.
It is important to follow proper safety guidelines when measuring noise at work, including wearing ear protection and following the manufacturer’s instructions for the measurement equipment.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB). An ‘A-weighting’ sometimes written as ‘dB(A)’, is used to measure average noise levels, and a ‘C-weighting’ or ‘dB(C)’, to measure peak, impact, or explosive noises. You might just notice a 3 dB change in noise level, because of the way our ears work. Yet every 3 dB doubles the noise, so what might seem like small differences in the numbers can be quite significant.
(Source: The heath and safety executive).