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A field investigation of noise reduction afforded by insert-type hearing protectors.
Edwards-RG; Hauser-WP; Moiseev-NA; Broderson-AB; Green-WW
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 79-115, 1979 Nov; :1-48
The effectiveness of insert type hearing protectors was evaluated. Workers at six industrial sites were tested for the noise attenuation properties of the earplugs they used. Protection was assessed based on earplug design, company policy with respect to earplug usage, physical activity, workplace noise levels, and the effect of numerical test sequences. On the average, the earplugs reduced noise exposure by about 6 decibles (dB) at 125 hertz (Hz) to 20dB at 3150Hz. This indicated that half the workers were receiving less than one third of the potential attenuation of the hearing protectors. The researchers suggest that this reduced protection was attributable to poor fit or improper insertion of the earplugs. The degree of protection did not depend upon intensity of workplace noise level, earplug design, or company policy regarding earplug usage. There was a significant difference between the attenuation during the first test and the four subsequent tests. The authors recommend that other types of hearing protectors be tested.
NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-76-0139; Analytical-methods; Audiometry; Personal-protective-equipment; Measurement-methods; Acoustical-measurements; Work-environment; Noise-pollution;
NTIS Accession No.
DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 79-115; Contract-210-76-0139
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division