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Buy Quiet Update

Categories: Engineering Control, Hearing Loss, Manufacturing, Prevention Through Design

buyquietSeveral years ago NIOSH started the planning process for a “buy quiet” initiative to encourage companies to purchase or rent quieter machinery and tools to reduce worker noise exposure. This initiative also aimed to provide information on equipment noise levels and promote manufacturers to design quieter equipment. NIOSH is now pleased to announce the official launch of our Buy Quiet web resources, complete with a website and educational materials. The new, easy to use materials highlight the benefits of a Buy Quiet program, explain how to establish a program in a workplace, and provide additional resources for finding quieter tools and machinery.

Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common work-related illness in the United States. Each year, approximately 22 million U.S. workers encounter noise exposures loud enough to be potentially hazardous. Buy Quiet can play an important role in protecting workers from these dangerous noise levels.

So How Accurate Are These Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps?

Categories: Hearing Loss, Technology

Figure 1. The SoundMeter app on the iPhone 5 (L) and iPhone 4S (R) compared to ½” Larson-Davis 2559 random incidence type 1 microphone (C).

As of June 2013, 60% of all mobile subscribers use smartphones—that’s more than 140 million devices. Apple iOS and Google Android platforms account for 93% of those devices [Nielsen, 2013]. Smartphone developers now offer many sound measurement applications (apps) using the devices’ built-in microphone (or through an external microphone for more sophisticated applications). The use of smartphone sound measurement apps can have a tremendous and far-reaching impact in the areas of noise research and noise control in the workplace as every smartphone can be potentially turned into a dosimeter or a sound level meter

NIOSH HPD Well-Fit™: The Future is Fit-Testing

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Construction, Hearing Loss, Manufacturing, Mining, Oil and Gas, Personal Protective Equipment

  

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory

Today is Save Your Hearing Day.  For workers and others who are exposed to dangerously loud noises which cannot be reduced or eliminated, hearing protection devices (HPDs) are absolutely necessary to save their hearing.  But if HPDs are not properly selected or correctly worn, the devices may not block out enough noise and the wearer may still risk a loss of hearing.  How can a person tell if their HPDs are fit correctly?  A new development from NIOSH – HPD Well-FitTM – can quickly and inexpensively test the performance of hearing protection.  This fit testing technology is a huge advancement in efforts to save workers’ hearing. 

Even a Dummy Knows October is Protect Your Hearing Month

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Hearing Loss, Manufacturing, Total Worker Health

Meet Nick.  Nick is a training mannequin who helps NIOSH teach young people and their families about preventing noise-induced hearing loss.  Hearing loss can result from working around noise–even non-powered hand tools–without wearing proper hearing protection. It is not uncommon for a 25 year-old farmer or carpenter to have the hearing of a 50 year-old.  In fact, 33% of all people who are exposed to hazardous noise at work will develop noise-induced hearing loss. You don’t have to work on a farm or at a factory to be at risk; common noise sources around your house – such as lawnmowers, power tools, and music systems – can be hazardous to your hearing.  It is the sum of all of your exposures to sound throughout the day and evening that add together to damage hearing when that total becomes excessive. Even the young are at risk.  In the general population, approximately 15% of those between ages 6 and 19 show signs of impaired hearing.[i]  One study found that over 30% of high school boys who live or work on a farm have hearing loss[ii]. We need to protect this and the next generation of workers.

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