Update on communication headset noise measurements in the workplace


  • Flora G. Nassrallah <p>Faculty of Health Sciences</p><p>University of Ottawa</p>
  • Nicolas N. Ellaham <p>Faculty of Health Sciences</p><p>University of Ottawa</p>
  • Christian Giguere <p>Faculty of Health Sciences</p><p>University of Ottawa</p>
  • Hilmi R. Dajani <p>Faculty of Engineering</p><p>University of Ottawa</p>


Increased use of communication headsets found in various workplaces raises concerns regarding potentially hazardous sound exposure levels. Current national and international standards specify a wide range of simple and specialized methods for the measurement of sound exposure under communication headsets. The ISO 11904 describes two methods for the measurement of noise from sources close to the ears: the Microphone in a Real Ear and the acoustic manikin techniques. Some national standards also specify the use of general-purpose artificial ears. Finally, standard CSA Z107.56-13 describes an indirect calculation method as a simpler alternative requiring only basic noise measurement equipment and calculation steps. However, to date, quantitative data comparing the degree of agreement between the different measurement methods or their relative performance are lacking, and it is not known if occupational health and safety or hearing loss prevention stakeholders have the necessary training and equipment to integrate them in their daily practice. A three-step study including a survey questionnaire and a series of laboratory experiments was conducted to address the several knowledge gaps on the topic. This research provided new knowledge to guide selection of the most suitable methods for the assessment of communication headset exposure taking into account expertise, access to equipment, and field logistic constraints. The paper will summarize research findings and discuss implications for future revisions of standard CSA Z107.56. [This project was funded by a research grant provided by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario]



How to Cite

Nassrallah FG, Ellaham NN, Giguere C, Dajani HR. Update on communication headset noise measurements in the workplace. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2016 Aug. 18 [cited 2023 Jun. 3];44(3). Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2988



Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada

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