Noise Dosimeters

The OSHA amendment of 1983 pushed the development of noise instrumentation to higher capability levels. Noise dosimeters are programmable, data-logging, multithresh-old instruments. They communicate directly with printers and personal computers. They provide information such as multithreshold doses, average sound level or LAvg, peak levels, histograms, statistical distributions, and projections.

A dosimeter is a small unit which can be attached to a belt or placed in a shirt pocket. The microphone is placed at the ear level, about 3 to 5 inches from the head, to avoid shadow error. Dosimeters must integrate all noise—continuous, variable, and impulse or impact—in the range between 80 to 130 dBs, using a 5-dB doubling or exchange rate; and they must be A weighted. (See Section 6.4)

The following definitions explain these dosimeter terms and keys:

THRESHOLDS—That sound level below which the instrument assumes no noise.

TABLE 6.5.1 OSHA HEARING CONSERVATION TABLEa

A-Weighted

Duration

Sound Level

(Hours)

80 dB*

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