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A laboratory simulation of selected in-field influences on hearing protector performance.

Authors
Park-MY; Casali-JG
Source
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 33rd Annual Meeting, October 16-20, 1989, Denver, Colorado. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors Society, 1989 Jan; 2:946-950
NIOSHTIC No.
00192839
Abstract
A study of the influence of work related factors on hearing protector performance was conducted. The study group consisted of 40 paid volunteers (20 males), 19 to 35 years old, with normal hearing. The subjects wore foam cushion earmuffs, slow recovery foam or flanged polymer earplugs, or an earmuff plus foam earplug combination for 2 hours during which they performed simulated job tasks that involved body and jaw motion while being exposed to 70 decibel-A pink noise. The hearing protectors were fit either by the subjects themselves or by a trained experimenter. The ability of the hearing protectors to attenuate the noise was evaluated by measuring occluded thresholds at 125, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3150, 4000, 6300, and 8000 hertz before and after 1 and 2 hours of exposure. Unoccluded thresholds were measured after exposure ended. The ability of all hearing protectors to attenuate noise decreased with exposure time. The slow recovery foam earplug showed the least degradation in attenuation. Attenuation was generally poorer when the subjects fit the hearing protectors than when the experimenter fit them. The authors conclude that the performance of hearing protectors is seriously degraded if the worker initially fits them poorly and makes vigorous movements. The slow recovery foam earplug appears to be more resistant to noise attenuation loss resulting from body movements than other protectors. Laboratory hearing protector tests should be conducted under more realistic conditions.
Keywords
NIOSH-Grant; Noise-exposure; Hearing-protection; Hearing-tests; Hearing-threshold; Humans; Laboratory-testing; Ear-protectors
Contact
Indus Engr and Operations Res Virginia Polytechnic Institute Blacksburg, VA Blacksburg, VA 24061
Publication Date
19890101
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Amount
107502
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1989
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-02540
Source Name
Proceedings of the Human Factors Society 33rd Annual Meeting, October 16-20, 1989, Denver, Colorado
State
CA; CO; VA
Performing Organization
Virginia Polytechnic Inst and St Univ, Blacksburg, Virginia
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