Estimation of sound pressure level exposures from sound power level measurements of powered hand-tools.
Noise Control Eng J 2007 Jul-Aug; 55(4):379-389
As part of a long-term goal to reduce noise-induced hearing loss in the construction industry, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimated the A.-weighted sound pressure level at the operator's ear (LpA,est) from the A-weighted sound power (LwA) measurements of 118 various model powered hand tools using the diffuse-field point source model Eyring theory. LpA,est from the model are compared to sound pressure measurements (LpA,meas) acquired from a microphone located in the nominal hearing zone of a simulated powered hand tool operator. This paper provides a basis for the direct substitution of LwA for LpA,meas and a comparison of LpA,est to LpA,meas. The magnitude of LwA is found to be a reasonable predictor of the magnitude of sound pressure level exposure, or LpA,meas, that a powered hand tool operator might experience across a variety of acoustical environments. As such, LwA can be used directly to select appropriate hearing protection and estimate worker' noise exposure. LwA can be measured for all power tools with appropriate loading conditions; however, measuring the sound pressure levels for all combinations of powered hand tools and acoustical environments in the construction industry is not feasible. Purchasers and users of those tools deserve a viable method of estimating noise exposure.
Noise; Noise-induced-hearing-loss; Hearing-loss; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Hearing-protection; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Sound-attenuation; Power-tools; Mathematical-models; Work-environment
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Noise Control Engineering Journal