NIOSH SLM Brings Noise Safety Surveillance Right to Your Phone
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NIOSH Workplace Noise App for iPhone


Curious about the noise levels at your workplace?

Well, now you can eliminate the guess work thanks to a new mobile app from NIOSH.

With NIOSH SLM – available in the iTunes App Store – managers can assess noise risk via their iPhones.

The free, easy-to-use app measures sound levels, and provides noise exposure parameters that let users know whether or not their workers are at risk for hearing loss.


(Related Article: Listen Up, Occupational Hearing Loss is Still a Problem)


After evaluating 192 other applications in 2014, NIOSH collaborated with app developing company EA LAB, to create a more functional SLM app geared toward work environments.

It’s not only functional; it’s highly accurate.

That accuracy increases with the addition of an external microphone. In fact, it measured levels within ± 1 dB of the reference SLM over the testing range of 65 -95 dB SPL in the CDC laboratory.


How Does the Noise Measuring App Work?


NIOSH SLM noise measuring application - Worksite Medical®

NIOSH SLM Workplace Noise Sound Measuring App

The app uses the phone’s built-in microphone to provide instant reports on sound level in A, C, or Z-weighted decibels.

It provides various metrics, such as run time and time-weighted average. Also, it includes basic noise and hearing loss prevention information.

A great feature is available when the user enables location settings. He/she can obtain noise measurements from specific locations via the phone’s GPS.

Furthermore, statistics and metrics can be recorded, saved and shared.

While NIOSH SLM serves as a great sound-measuring tool, it is not meant to replace a professional grade device.

However, it’s a great supporting product to go along with hearing conservation methods, such as audiometric testing.

The app is not currently available on Android devices.

Check out the NIOSH SLM video HERE



Hazardous Noise in the Workplace


audiometric testing with Worksite Medical®

OSHA requires a hearing conservation program for 85 decibels adjusted (dBA) for an 8-hour time-weight average.

Approximately 22 million workers are exposed annually to hazardous sound levels.

Furthermore, certain chemicals, known as ototoxicants, can cause hearing loss regardless of noise exposure in high-hazard industries such as construction, aviation, and manufacturing.

The risk for those workers developing Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) in those professionals increases substantially.

It’s also financially damaging for employers as, each year, companies pay out around $242 million in workers’ compensation claims resulting from employee hearing loss.

Many workers conceal hearing problems in order to remain on-site.

In that case, the risks of simply ignoring the problem go well beyond benefit payouts. Significant hearing loss impairs an employee’s ability to understand speech, hear warning signals, and notice audio alarms.

In most workplaces where hazards could occur (i.e.: a construction site or manufacturing plant), workers must effectively communicate with one another.

If someone misses a verbal cue, such as a safety manager’s direct order, then serious accidents may occur.


(Related Article: What to Know About OSHA’s New Hearing Loss Bulletin)


In 2017, businesses in the United States paid upward of $1.5 million in penalties for not adequately protecting their workers from hazardous noise.


Audiometric Testing


According to OSHA, audiometric testing must be made available to all employees exposed to sound level at, or above, the 85 dBA over a TWA period – approximately as loud as a milling machine.

Audiometric testing is pure tone air-conducted hearing testing performed in each ear at frequencies of 500, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 6K, and 8K. This sort of testing identifies hearing levels and a sensitivity to the exposed sound.

Measuring hazardous noise is necessary for both keeping your team healthy, and your workplace OSHA compliant.


(Related Article: Why You Should Be Using the Benson Mobile Audio Test)


At Worksite Medical®, you can be sure that you’ll always get the best quality of care, as well as the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art technology.

In 2018, we expanded our fleet of mobile medical units with new vehicles, and completely refurbished our existing ones. We upgraded our testing facilities with our clients, and the future in mind.

Take a virtual tour of our clinics by CLICKING HERE.

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