NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
927ZJHN - Hearing Protector Performance for Impulse NoiseStart Date: 10/1/2009
End Date: 9/30/2013
Principal Investigator (PI)Name: Amir Khan
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed4.0
Secondary Goal AddressedNone
Attributed to Manufacturing50%
More than 30 million workers are exposed to potentially hazardous noise and, at present, the primary redress available to them is use of hearing protective devices (HPDs). This project’s goal is to develop and verify testing methods necessary to assess nonlinear passive HPDs, electronically augmented HPDs, as well as traditional passive HPDs such that they may be followed by other laboratories.
This project will complement a directly funded EPA interagency agreement project. The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with enforcing the labeling of hearing protection devices (HPDs) used in industry. The EPA relies on NIOSH research as a basis for promulgating HPD labeling regulations. New research projects and development efforts will be undertaken for the EPA and will be associated with this project. This project’s goal is to develop and verify testing methods necessary to assess non -linear passive HPDs, electronically augmented HPDs, as well as traditional passive HPDs such that they may be tested by other laboratories. Part of that assessment will involve the analysis of data collected in an earlier large inter-laboratory study of test methods. To assist other laboratories testing passive HPDS, a “Noise Reduction Rating Calculator” will be developed. All of the work of this project will underpin the provision of technical support to the EPA as it revises its HPD labeling regulation. The PS&B for the EPA efforts are also funded through this project.
More than 30 million workers are exposed to potentially hazardous noise and, at present, the primary redress available to them is use of passive hearing protective devices. Because hearing loss prevention is a cross-sector program, a wide range of workers are affected by the requirement of the US Environmental Protection Agency that hearing protection devices be labeled using methods which were developed over three decades ago. Hearing protection devices which incorporate technologies such as Bluetooth-enabled protectors, active noise cancellation and hearing enhancement features were not available at the time of the EPA’s promulgation of the labeling regulation. Consequently, these features are not reflected in the noise reduction rating. The project has a broad range of application across all sectors that rely upon communication in a noisy environment.