Sound Level Meter


Definition - What does Sound Level Meter mean?

Sound-level meter is a handheld device used to measure the ambient noise in an environment based on sound intensity expressed in decibel (dB) units. The employ of sound-level meters are useful in detecting sound frequencies that correspond to a normal hearing range while also indicating noise factors above and/or below hearing standards. A sound-level meter consists of a microphone, electronic components, and a visual display that registers acoustical energy output.

WorkplaceTesting explains Sound Level Meter

The human ear is sensitive to sounds on a regular basis with wavelength frequencies oscillating (moving up and down) in proportion to the amount of noise exposure. As a result, people can perceive sounds differently based on relative acuity levels that often contribute to gradual hearing loss. Since the 1970’s, many industrial environments impose excessive noise levels that induce hearing deficits leading to other detrimental health concerns including hypertension, persistent stress, sleep deprivation, and impaired cognitive function.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and subsidiary health agencies have consolidated efforts to advance noise reduction laws and statutes. A number of variables lend to the degree and extent that noise encroaches on the human ear in terms of avoiding permanent hearing damage. For example, a dosimeter is a sound-level meter equipped to assess noise exposure over a designated time period using an A-weighted frequency scale, a benchmark in preventing workplace deafness. A dosimeter can help to determine if a facility is in violation of noise regulations from an objective perspective.

Sound-level meters require calibration checks to maintain functionality in producing accurate readouts. In many industries, excessive noise is a common health concern, but sound-level meters with scale-weighting features can identify auditory limits to deter hearing loss and eventual deafness.

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