Advocates for Hearing Protector Fit-Testing

Advocates for Hearing Protector Fit-Testing


Advancements in hearing protector fit-testing technology are now allowing safety managers and workers to more easily and accurately measure hearing protector effectiveness — and further bridge that “lab versus real world” gap between the published NRR and the actual use.


In a Best Practices Bulletin published by an OSHA Alliance team of hearing professionals, seven key benefits of fit-testing of hearing protectors are highlighted. Selecting a comfortable protector that can be documented to provide adequate protection, even for intermittent noise, is critical. 


It is important to reemphasize that regardless of how a hearing protector’s performance is derived,” the document states, “the most important factor is to find the most comfortable hearing protector that an employee will wear correctly 100% of the time that he/she is in noise.” (Alliance Document published by OSHA and National Hearing Conservation Association. Best Practices Bulletin – “Emerging Trends:  Individual Fit-Testing,” May 2008). 


In a recent evaluation of one fit-testing system with a number of users, INSPEC International Limited, a respected testing lab in UK, concluded that the earplug fit-testing system could aid correct fitting and selection of ear plugs.  Further, INSPEC validated that “data demonstrated that it would be a useful tool for ensuring Hearing Conservation within the workplace.” (INSPEC Report, April 2010.



Next: Fit Testing — Additional Resources

Blog Author:  Brad Witt  
Blog Catagories:  NRR  noise reduction rating  Hearing Protectors  Hearing Protection  hazardous noise  fit-testing  

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