Communication headsets in the workplace: Accessibility to noise exposure measurement in Canada
Keywords:communication headsets, measurements, acoustic manikin, artificial ears?
Communication headsets and other wearable listening devices contribute to the noise exposure of a range of workers in their workplace. Users of these devices in occupational settings are subjected to both the audio signal from the headset and the surrounding external noise simultaneously. Two methods are currently described in ISO 11904 for direct measurement of sound exposure from communication headsets: the Microphone in the Real-Ear and the Acoustic Manikin. In addition, other standards propose the use of artificial-ear procedures or an indirect calculation method (AS/NZS 1269.1, CSA Z107.56) as alternative methods. However, there is currently little information related to the use of all these methods by researchers, audiologists, occupational hygienists, and other relevant professionals in occupational health and safety. A questionnaire was distributed to stakeholders in occupational health and safety and hearing loss prevention in Canada to document their awareness of the problem, their knowledge of the different measurement tools, and their access to this equipment. Results illustrate that knowledge of specialized measurement techniques and access to the necessary equipment varies significantly depending on the type of training of the different professionals.
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