Educational Resources

ANSI Standard on Classroom Acoustics

The American National Standards Institute addresses classroom acoustics in a series of standards ANSI S12.60 Parts 1 and 2 and three associated booklet which are for free to interested professionals. Go here for information

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Tinnitus Simulation

Dr. Billy Martin of the Oregon Hearing Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University has recently given NHCA permission to publish an audio simulation which mimics what tinnitus (ringing in the ears) sounds like to someone who suffers from this condition. The file is free to download, but please provide credit to Dr. Martin if you use the file for training or demonstration purposes.


Noise Navigator Spreadsheet

Welcome to the Noise Navigator spreadsheet of sound levels for more than 1700 occupational, recreational, and military noise sources. The data are compiled from references in the literature and from our own measurements. For each source the reference is listed, and as available additional notes are provided. When the primary reference cites sources for its data, those too are listed. View the Noise Navigator Spreadsheet. We are interested in refining and expanding this resource. If the reader has suggestions for improvement, or documented sound levels that they wish to share, or finds any items requiring explanation or correction, please contact Elliott Berger.


What's Your Favorite Sound?

The favorite sound project grew from Deanna Meinke's experience with a NHCA‑sponsored children's hearing conservation poster contest. While presenting the award winners of the children's poster contest at the 2000 NHCA luncheon in Denver, the question "What is your favorite sound?" was posed to each of the three winners. Their responses were thoughtful and enlightening: "flute," "drums," and "my cat." Surprisingly, the luncheon conversation continued between the parents and other guests. People who had never thought about it, were suddenly and enthusiastically sharing what they valued and enjoyed most about sound in their lives. The favorite-sound concept is another technique to raise hearing awareness for programs in hearing loss prevention and hearing conservation.


The project has provided the opportunity for encounters and discussions with individuals about the value of hearing as well as the need for hearing loss prevention and hearing conservation. It is a practical tool when attempting to motivate an individual to utilize hearing protection or change his or her hazardous noise listening habits. The most memorable encounters and experiences are categorized as:

  • Lack of Interest and Refusal to Use Hearing Protection
  • Positive Experience in Training Courses
  • Rationale for Providing Hearing Conservation
  • Fun
  • New Personal Encounters
  • Personal Insights

Follow Up

To learn more or to share your own favorite sounds please contact Professor Deanna Meinke at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. 

A current summary (2019) of approximately 3000 favorite‑sound responses appears below.



OSHA’s Alliance program was designed to provide parties an opportunity to participate in a voluntary cooperative relationship with OSHA for purposes such as training and education, outreach and communication, and promoting national dialogue on various aspects of workplace safety and health. As OSHA observed, "The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) works with the public to promote safety and health in the workplace by offering compliance assistance services and programs to businesses and organization. Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to safety (and) health, including businesses, trade or professional organizations, unions and educational institutions, to leverage resources and expertise to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and share information with employers and employees to help prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.”

The power of alliance and leveraging of influence was evident in the production of a best-practices document, Hearing Protection-Emerging Trends: Individual Fit Testing that provides general information on fit-testing of hearing protectors, and of a training document entitled Tool Box Talks: Hearing Conservation in the Shipbuilding Industry  While active, the alliance also supported the Shipyard Council of America Alliance with OSHA to develop a tool box talk on hearing protection for their small shipyard members.

Although the Alliance completed its formal charter and ended, NHCA and NIOSH continue to work together to provide expertise to OSHA in developing information on the recognition and prevention of hearing loss caused by workplace hazards.

NHCA representatives to the Alliance were John Allen, Joe Cissna and Theresa Schulz. NHCA continues to seek future opportunities to collaborate on inter-group and inter-agency projects to further the mission of the NHCA.