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Tuesday, July 9 • 11:10 - 11:30
LABORATORY AND FIELD VALIDATION OF AN IN-EAR NOISE DOSIMETRY DEVICE

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The assessment of noise exposure is a major component of any hearing conservation program. It is usually conducted using either sound level meters (SLM) or personal noise dosimeters (PND). Some significant problems arise when performing noise exposure measurements using SLMs or PNDs. First, these devices do not usually account precisely for the variations of the actual noise exposure experienced by a given worker over the work shift. Additionally, the attenuation provided by the hearing protector that is worn is only taken into account very approximately. To address these issues, the purpose of this study is to implement a precise and reliable in-ear noise dosimetry system based on low computational algorithms that can be used in a wide variety of environments and work conditions. The adopted methodology focuses on the implementation and validation of a real-time measurement system. The proposed system utilizes a set of two miniature microphones placed inside and outside the earcanal. Besides, two types of in-ear prototypes were developed: one for the unoccluded ear and one for the ear occluded with a passive earplug. The validation of the in-ear devices prototypes and algorithm implementation was done using data collected during a study on human subjects. Both developed hardware and software elements make it possible to determine correction factors enabling the conversion of the measured in-ear noise exposure levels to their equivalent free-field values. Furthermore, the implemented algorithms can detect and exclude wearer-induced disturbances (speech, microphonics, etc.) making it possible to assess noise exposure with and without the energy contribution from these self-generated noises. This paper presents a successful implementation and validation of an in-ear noise dosimetry system, with unique features and capabilities, that could lead to the improvement of methods and systems for personal noise exposure assessments in the workplace.


Tuesday July 9, 2019 11:10 - 11:30 EDT
Outremont 4
  T06 Industr. and occup. Noise & vib., SS01 Hearing protection