Noise dosimeter badges are used primarily to determine and document noise exposure levels around a worker over a long period of time. The data helps a company determine where in the worker's environment they need to wear hearing protection gear, and stay in compliance with OSHA. OSHA sets thresholds for both long-term time-weighted averages (TWA) and short term exposure levels (STEL) for their legal permissible exposure limits.
Recently, a pipeline customer found some short-term spikes that lead them to an unexpected source of noise.
The team was collecting time-weighted average noise data during their daily rounds, doing pipeline right-of-way checks and accessing remote wells. They found that their TWA was below the OSHA threshold of 90DBA for an eight-hour day, but noticed that there were spikes of up to 110 to 115 dB.
When they looked further, they noticed that the spikes happened when they were riding in the Gator ATVs to get from one location to another. So, it wasn't the pipeline or well environment that was causing problems at all, it was their transportation.
With real-time dB values at hand, the team now makes sure they're wearing noise protection when they're traveling between locations. It wasn't at all the outcome they expected, but the noise dosimeters provided critical data for their hearing conservation program.
Learn more about noise dosimeter badges.