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A simple method to estimate noise levels in the workplace based on self-reported speech communication effort in noise

A simple method to estimate noise levels in the workplace based on self-reported speech communication effort in noise
A simple method to estimate noise levels in the workplace based on self-reported speech communication effort in noise

Objective: To validate a method using self-reported speech communication effort in noise to estimate occupational noise levels by comparing with measured noise levels.

Design: A comparative observational study. Reported vocal effort to communicate with a person at a distance of 1.2 m during workplace-related tasks was used to provide an estimate of noise levels in the workplace. These estimated noise levels were compared against noise level measurements obtained using personal noise dosimetry badges for corresponding tasks undertaken by participants.

Study sample: Participants (n = 168) aged 16–25 years were recruited from companies where workplace noise levels were at least 85 dB(A).

Results: Estimated noise levels using speech communication ability were evenly distributed above and below the measured noise levels (n = 134), indicating a lack of systematic bias in the method. For 91% of participants, estimates of noise levels using speech communication were within ±6 dB of the measured levels, whilst 56% were within ±3 dB.

Conclusions: Report of speech communication effort required in noise by employees is an effective method of estimating noise levels within the workplace. This can be used for retrospective noise level assessment where there are no recorded noise level measurements, such as for retrospective research studies or in medicolegal work.

estimation of noise, medicolegal, Noise exposure, occupational noise, social noise, speech communication
1499-2027
450-453
Ferguson, Melanie A.
d80a0d2e-3102-40cd-b412-b24bc55f556f
Tomlinson, Kezia B.
68b7b3db-afe4-47b2-b91e-6654404f80e5
Davis, Adrian C.
d7bfb08d-ef98-4613-89ab-5c5cde5e2b56
Lutman, Mark E.
add34340-3241-4346-a668-8f51fdea6692
Ferguson, Melanie A.
d80a0d2e-3102-40cd-b412-b24bc55f556f
Tomlinson, Kezia B.
68b7b3db-afe4-47b2-b91e-6654404f80e5
Davis, Adrian C.
d7bfb08d-ef98-4613-89ab-5c5cde5e2b56
Lutman, Mark E.
add34340-3241-4346-a668-8f51fdea6692

Ferguson, Melanie A., Tomlinson, Kezia B., Davis, Adrian C. and Lutman, Mark E. (2019) A simple method to estimate noise levels in the workplace based on self-reported speech communication effort in noise. International Journal of Audiology, 58 (7), 450-453. (doi:10.1080/14992027.2019.1600203).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objective: To validate a method using self-reported speech communication effort in noise to estimate occupational noise levels by comparing with measured noise levels.

Design: A comparative observational study. Reported vocal effort to communicate with a person at a distance of 1.2 m during workplace-related tasks was used to provide an estimate of noise levels in the workplace. These estimated noise levels were compared against noise level measurements obtained using personal noise dosimetry badges for corresponding tasks undertaken by participants.

Study sample: Participants (n = 168) aged 16–25 years were recruited from companies where workplace noise levels were at least 85 dB(A).

Results: Estimated noise levels using speech communication ability were evenly distributed above and below the measured noise levels (n = 134), indicating a lack of systematic bias in the method. For 91% of participants, estimates of noise levels using speech communication were within ±6 dB of the measured levels, whilst 56% were within ±3 dB.

Conclusions: Report of speech communication effort required in noise by employees is an effective method of estimating noise levels within the workplace. This can be used for retrospective noise level assessment where there are no recorded noise level measurements, such as for retrospective research studies or in medicolegal work.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 January 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 April 2019
Keywords: estimation of noise, medicolegal, Noise exposure, occupational noise, social noise, speech communication

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432801
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432801
ISSN: 1499-2027
PURE UUID: 1e66f1c2-0796-4ab3-95eb-8bd7d5bb2fa6

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 26 Jul 2019 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Melanie A. Ferguson
Author: Kezia B. Tomlinson
Author: Adrian C. Davis
Author: Mark E. Lutman

University divisions

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