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The contribution of personal radios to the noise exposure of employees at one industrial facility.

Skrainar SF; Royster LH; Berger EH; Pearson RG
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1987 Apr; 48(4):390-395
A field study was carried out at a North Carolina textile manufacturing factory to evaluate the contribution of personal radios to an employee's time weighted average noise exposure, in order to establish procedures for collecting field data on the hazards presented by the personal radio usage to the hearing of employees. A sound level measuring system was developed, based on the use of an acoustic manikin that was designed to perform acoustic measurements for research audiology and hearing aid manufacture. The daily time weighted average sound levels at the plant were approximately 87 decibels A-weighted (dB(A)). Mean workstation noise level measurements ranged from 81.7 to 85.3dB(A) depending on the number and type of machines in operation at a given time. The output level of the personal radios tested ranged from 70 to 98dB(A), averaging 83dB(A). The workers who used personal radios were exposed to a daily time weighted average sound level of 88.5dB(A), as compared to 86.6dB(A) for employees who did not use personal radios. The 1.9dB(A) differential between personal radio users and nonusers over a 20 year exposure period was determined for the fifth and most sensitive percentile of the population. On this basis, the predicted noise induced permanent threshold shift at 4 kilohertz for this population in the absence of personal radios was estimated at 11.4 decibels, as compared to 15 decibels for the same population exposed to personal radios. The authors conclude that the additional noise generated by the use of personal radios does not represent a hazard to the hearing of the workers, provided that the noise conditions prevailing at each site are evaluated and the necessary protective safeguards are applied.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Occupational-health; Noise-levels; Noise-pollution; Employee-health; Exposure-limits; Textile-workers; Hearing-protection; Protective-measures
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
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Environmental Sciences & Engr Univ of North Carolina Sch of Public Health 201 H Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division