NIOSH Releases Sound Level Meter App
On January 17, 2017, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) released a smartphone iOS sound measurement app. The app will provide real-time data to help keep workers aware of the noise levels in their working environment and the potential hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that 22 million workers are exposed to noise at work that could damage their hearing, with $1.5 million in penalties and $242 million spent yearly on workers’ comp for hearing loss disability.

The app offers basic information on preventing hearing loss and allows saving and sharing of data using smartphone features. It can also utilize the smartphone GPS system to provide an exact location for the measurement.

NIOSH states, “While the app is not meant to replace a professional sound level meter or a noise dosimeter or be used for compliance purposes, we recommend that those interested in making proper noise measurements use an external microphone that can be calibrated with an acoustical calibrator for improved accuracy.“

Although almost 200 noise measurement apps were evaluated, only 4 iOS applications met specifications outlined for features, calibration, and functionality. The app is available from NIOSH and on iTunes for smartphones with iOS. It is not currently available for Android devices. 
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