OSHA requires that employees be placed in a hearing conservation program if they are exposed to average noise levels of 85 dBA or greater during an 8-hour workday. CSE can determine whether exposures are at or above this level by monitoring noise levels in the workplace and estimating the noise exposure or “dose” received by employees.
CSE uses two different instruments to monitor noise levels: a sound level meter and a dosimeter. The sound level meter measures intensity of sound at a given moment. Since sound level meters measure sound intensity at only one point in time, several measurements are taken at different locations and intervals. CSE uses these measurements to draw sound level maps showing “area” noise levels throughout the day.
CSE uses dosimeters to automatically measure, integrate and average noise levels for a given period of time, such as an 8-hour workday. With a dosimeter, a microphone is attached to the employee’s clothing and the exposure measurement is simply read at the end of the desired time period. Since the dosimeter is worn by the employee, it measures noise levels in those locations where the employee works and can be compared directly to OSHA and similar standards.
CSE provides complete hearing conservation programs that including the following items: