Two case studies for fit testing hearing protector devices.
Murphy-WJ; Themann-CL; Stephenson-MR; Byrne-DC
J Acoust Soc Am 2012 Sep; 132(3)(Pt. 2):2013
Hearing protection devices (HPDs) are typically selected based upon the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) and, until recently, were rarely tested for attenuation in real-world environments. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has developed a fittesting system (HPD Well-FitTM) that performs attenuation tests with a large circumaural earmuff, a portable computer and a computer mouse with a scroll wheel. HPD Well-Fit was used to estimate the attenuation of employees working in two different settings: inspectors for off-shore drilling rigs and sandblasters at a hydroelectric facility. The highest exposure levels for the inspectors and sandblasters were estimated to be 110 and 130 dBA, respectively. Fit testing and training were used to achieve a 25-dB Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) for the inspectors. Fit testing before and after the sandblaster work shift demonstrated PARs of 30 to 42 dB using HPD Well-Fit. The average time to complete the fit tests was 10 minutes. If retraining was necessary, then an additional 3 to 6 minutes were required.
Noise-measurement; Noise; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Acoustics; Sound; Exposure-levels; Hearing-protection; Workers; Testing-equipment
William J. Murphy, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mailstop C-27, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America