Noise studies are used for the following:
- Determining whether or not a hearing conservation program is even needed based on OSHA’s requirements for exposure of an 8 hour time-weighted average of 85dB
- Determining which employees should be included in the program based on their noise exposure
- Determining which hearing protection devices are adequate for employees’ noise exposure.
- Determining the effectiveness of efforts to control or reduce noise
- It is a requirement that noise measurements be updated when there are changes in areas, equipment, or process that may have altered noise exposure.
The most common methods used in noise studies are area surveys using sound level meters and individual worker surveys using dosimetry. The noise studies reported here have used a combination of area maps as well as dosimetry documenting worker mobility.