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Noise Level Meters for Controlling Noise at Work

Sound control advice

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Noise Level Meters for Controlling Noise at Work

By: Robert Dunn

Noise Level Meters for Controlling Noise at Work

Noise level meters are sophisticated devices used to determine the sound level by capturing and measuring changes in sound pressure.  They tend to be hand-held and will be pointed towards the source of noise. Put simply, sound enters the noise level meter via a small microphone. It is then processed and measurement data or values are displayed digitally in decibels to inform the user if an environment is too loud and any corrective action needs to be taken.

Imagine you are in a workplace with various machines working at the same time.  Tones that have the same sound pressure level but different frequencies will not sound equally loud to the human ear.  ‘A’ weighting is the internationally standardised filter applied by a sound level meter in an attempt to replicate the response of the human ear to specific frequencies. This explains why noise measurement values are expressed as dB(A).

Here is an example of how a modern meter would display a decibel reading.

Noise level meters come in two forms: data logging, where measurements are saved to an internal memory, or non-data logging, where measurements are displayed on the meter only and the user writes the values down manually.  The meters also come in two classes: 1 or 2. The class of a sound level meter represents its frequency range and levels of tolerance.  A Class 1 sound level meter meets a higher performance specification than a Class 2 meter and will typically measure a wider frequency range of noise.  Pulsar Instruments offer both options however, for Noise at Work measurements, a Class 2 meter is perfectly acceptable.

Here is an example of a data-logging meter, the Pulsar Nova 45 and a non-data logging sound level meter, Pulsar Model 14.

Noise level meters the Pulsar Nova and Model 14 digital meter

Noise dosimetry – noise dosimeters

noise dosimeter or personal sound exposure meter (PSEM) is a specialised kind of noise level meter intended specifically to measure the exposure to noise of an employee that has been integrated over a specific period of time.   This method can be used by employers to comply with current occupational regulations such as the UK’s Noise at Work, OSHA and the EU Directive 2003/10/EC.

Here are examples of personal noise dosimeters currently available from Pulsar: Pulsar Model 22 doseBadge system and the brand new Pulsar NoisePen noise dosemeter.

The team at Pulsar Instruments are happy to guide you in the selection of the right sound level meters and noise dosemeters to carry out your noise measurements at work.  We also offer accessories to enhance your instruments including acoustic calibrators, extension cables, and microphones.

If you have any questions, please contact our team at [email protected] or ring us today on 01723 518011.

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