Industrial Hygiene
Noise Assessment 

In support of the  Army Hearing Program, noise assessment surveys are conducted upon request.
The surveys evaluate the magnitude of potential occupational noise exposures to military and civilian personnel in order to quantify the exposures and select effective protective measures.

Industrial hygienists will conduct a preliminary evaluation to identify the noise sources and groups of exposed employees. 
A Type 2 sound level meter will be used for this preliminary evaluation. 
Noise control engineers will use a Type 1 sound level meter with an octave band analyzer to evaluate the frequency of the noise, which provides useful information about noise sources.

Then a sampling strategy will be developed to gather the exposure data for employees most exposed to the noise hazard. 

Dosimeter sampling will be conducted to quantify the noise exposures for exposed personnel over an entire work shift, providing a time-weighted average noise exposure. 

This data will be used to determine if the employees should be included in a hearing conservation program.  

The data will also be used to select effective engineering controls (noise barriers) and administrative controls (work rotations), and personal protective equipment (ear muffs and/or ear plugs).

Noise sampling with a sound level meterRegulations

The links below provide the DoD and DA regulations for hearing conservation programs.
 DoDI 6055.12, "DoD Hearing Conservation Program (HCP)" external link icon
 DA Pam 40-501, "Hearing Conservation Program” external link icon

The link below provides the OSHA standard for occupational noise.
The standard is applicable for the civilian work force.
The DoD and DA exposure limits for noise are more stringent and should be followed for DA personnel.
 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 29 CFR 1910.95, “Occupational Noise Exposure” external link icon


The link below provides the correct form to document audiometric test booth certifications, as well as the proper procedures to follow.
 Audiometric Test Booth Certification

Other References

The links below provide information which may be helpful for industrial hygienists.

For information about the APHC Hearing Conservation Program:  Hearing Conservation

For information on Ototoxins - USAPHC Fact sheet:  Occupational Ototoxins (Ear Poisons) and Hearing Loss

The link below is for the NIOSH Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention webpage. 
The webpage is a clearinghouse of noise related information from NIOSH, including workplace noise related facts and statistics, a hearing conservation program checklist, and a power tool noise level database.
 NIOSH Safety and Health Topic: Noise and Hearing Loss Prevention external link icon

The link below is for the OSHA Occupational Noise Exposure webpage. 
The webpage has information on how the ear works, engineering controls, and hearing conservation programs. 
The website can be useful for employee training references.
 OSHA Occupational Noise Exposure external link icon

The link below is for the OSHA E-tool on how to evaluate a noise exposure.
 OSHA: How do I evaluate Noise Exposure? external link icon

The link below is for the OSHA E-tool on instruments used to conduct a noise survey.
 OSHA: Instruments Used to Conduct a Noise Survey? external link icon

The link below is a good two-page handout to give to Soldiers and civilian workers during a noise assessment survey to communicate the noise hazards and the steps taken to control the hazard.
USAPHC Fact Sheet:  Hearing Loss and Noise

The link below is for a NIOSH noise exposure report.
The U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting a cross-sectional survey of equipment sound levels and worker noise exposures in the stone/aggregate mining industry.
Six stone/aggregate mines (three surface and three underground) were recently surveyed, and the findings are presented here.
The surveys consisted of sound-level measurements conducted around various equipment and machinery (including stone processing and crushing equipment) and full-shift dose measurements to determine worker noise exposures.
The findings identify the equipment and machinery that are likely to cause worker overexposures and identify the workers found to the experiencing overexposures.
It can be useful for an industrial hygienist to see the different techniques used in developing sampling plans, such as the use of sound profile plots.
 Noise Assessment of Stone/Aggregate Mines: Six Case Studies external link icon

The link below is for environmental noise.
 USAPHC Tech Guide 044: Suggested Procedures for Handling and Recording Noise Complaints at Military Installations 

The link below is for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Noise Guidebook.
The HUD Noise Guidebook has been prepared to serve as the basic reference document for all HUD field staff who are responsible for implementing the Department's noise policy.
It can be useful to DA personnel evaluating environmental noise complaints in housing areas.
 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: The Noise Guidebook external link icon

The link below is for ISO webpage for international noise standards.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer of voluntary International Standards. International Standards give state of the art specifications for products, services and good practice, helping to make industry more efficient and effective.
Developed through global consensus, they help to break down barriers to international trade. 
This website may be helpful for industrial hygienists looking for international consensus standards.
 International Organization for Standardization (Noise Standards, Publications and e-Products) external link icon