Accurate Industrial Noise Measurement

Jonathan Newell talks to Casella about how noise dosimeter software helps occupational hygiene consultants determine accurate noise exposure levels in industrial environments.

❱ ❱ The dbadge2 personal noise dosimeter provides an accurate assessment of noise exposure levels for industrial, mining or construction workers

loss and that figure is expected to rise to around 14.5 million by 2031.


With noise induced hearing loss being a risk in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries, noise monitoring specialist company Casella developed the dbadge2 portable dosimeter aimed specifically at these industries. The intrinsically safe accredited

dbadge2 device is worn by company personnel and so measures personal exposure rather than workplace noise levels generally. According to Tim Turney, Technical Product Manager at Casella, the product can be used for risk assessment or continuous monitoring. In 2018, 23,000 workers in the UK

reported work-related hearing problems, with workers in the manufacturing and construction sectors most at risk due to noisy working conditions. Using the dbadge provides occupational safety consultants and risk managers with the information needed to identify and reduce or eliminate workplace risks.

ESTABLISHING ACCURACY Turney explains that obtaining an

ccording to the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), around ten million people in the UK have some degree of hearing

❱ ❱ Tim Turney of Casella says analysis software is helping to produce more accurate assessment profiles

❱ ❱ NoiseSafe software produces graphical output with anomalous areas highlighted for ease of analysis

accurate profile of noise exposure levels can be challenging and that the new NoiseSafe software produced by Casella helps to interpret the data to obtain a realistic noise profile. “Personnel can sometimes remove the dosimeter when they shouldn’t or someone can tap the microphone creating spurious high values that can skew the results,” explains Turney. The dosimeter itself has the capability

of tracking motion and so it’s clear when the data is interrogated whether the device has been removed and placed in a drawer for the shift or worn as it should be. It is also equipped with recording capability. “It doesn’t record voices but there is an audio function that allows subsequent analysis of exposure levels, such as tapping the microphone,” Turney says. I asked if a single microphone tap could make a difference over the course of a shift. Turney explains that such events can have a significant effect since sound levels are logarithmic. Every 3db increase is a doubling of energy and so double the damage so large peaks are significant. “Regulations show peak action

levels of 135/137db versus 80/85db per shift so a seemingly trivial slap on the microphone can easily result in peak

action levels being breached,” explains Turney. To aid the analysis of such events,

parameters can be set in the NoiseSafe software and passed to the dbadge2 dosimeter. These can be used to trigger audio recordings at certain noise levels when the dbadge2 will record 10 seconds of audio to aid subsequent analysis.


Once the information from the dosimeter is obtained, any anomalous events that were triggered in the software are highlighted and can be easily found in the graph so the operator knows where to look and when to listen for audio. The software then enables non- legitimate parts of the graph to be bounded and isolated so that the noise profile can be recalculated and reports produced. With such refinement in the analysis and the resulting accuracy of the noise profiles, intervention plans can be made more effective for identifying the highest risks and reducing the noise levels at source. “dbadge2 and the NoiseSafe software can be used for ongoing monitoring as well as the initial risk assessment to assess the effectiveness of noise reduction activities,” concludes Turney.

Climatic & Vibration Testing Vol 2 No. 1 /// 5

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