Noise has some interesting health effects. Most people assume the worst that can happen is you will lose part of your hearing. However, a recent (March, 2014) study in Injury Prevention by Girard,, concluded that those employees exposed to loud noise (above 100dBA) were admitted to hospitals more frequently, and at risk for other injuries.

Some other known health effects include (from Medscape & WHO):haul truck toy

  • fatigue
  • impaired concentration
  • behavioral changes
  • irritation
  • impaired academic performance
  • interrupted sleep (during sleep times)
  • changes in endocrine & autonomic nervous systems
  • increase in heart rate, blood pressure, vasoconstriction
  • sexual impotence
  • neurosis
  • hysteria

Noise is a simple subject, but there are many factors which influence noise exposure to individuals. Some include:

  • The individual: age, prior exposure
  • The noise: loudness (dB), type of noise (Hz), distance from noise
  • Time: exposure vs. non-exposure time per day

More information on how to control this hazard in construction can be found here.

And, as a bonus, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America has published a review of the top Smartphone Sound Measurement Apps..  The winner (most accurate) was SPLnFFT, at only $3.99. A close runner up was SoundMeter by Faber. Another summary review is here, and here.

I attended a great session at an Industrial Hygiene Expo and Conference. Nowadays anyone with internet can find these useful apps, but it sure was nice to just sit there and watch them explain what they liked/disliked about each smart phone application.

Here are my top “useful”picks (mostly from their list). I like the free ones…Disclaimer: I didn’t develop these, nor have I loaded them all, or attempted to use them. 

  1. Chemical Compatibility Database – might be really handy, if you remember to use it before you mix those chemicals
  2. Lightmeter – I can see this one being really useful on those dark construction sites
  3. IH Dig – if you r one- you gotta have this game
  4. Converter Plus – mg/m3 to ppm, etc.
  5. Cargo Decoder – all those DOT placard trucks running down the road- now you  know to be scared of
  6. Time Calculator – allows you to add time(s) easier
  7. Sound Level Meter – yep. and it works. Well, probably not in court.
  8. Velometer – I can’t really tell you how it works, or if it’s accurate, but it might help sometime
  9. Floor Plans (on the fly) – if you need a scale or a floor plan from a picture on your phone
  10. Translators – these are really handy if you’re not fluent