Fit-testing, training, and timing - how long does it take to fit-test hearing protectors?
Murata-T; Themann-CL; Byrne-DC; Murphy-WJ
J Acoust Soc Am 2014 Oct; 136(4):2134
Hearing protector fit-testing is a Best Practice for hearing loss prevention programs and is gaining acceptance among US employers. Fit-testing quantifies hearing protector attenuation achieved by individual workers and ensures that workers properly fit and receive adequate protection from their protectors. Employers may be reluctant to conduct fit-testing because of expenses associated with worker time away from the job, personnel to administer the testing, and acquisition of a fit-test system. During field and laboratory studies conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), timing data for the fit-test process with the NIOSH HPD Well-Fit(TM) system were analyzed. For workers completely na´ve to fit-testing, the tests were completed within 15-20 minutes. Unoccluded test times were less than 4 minutes and occluded tests required less than 3 minutes. A significant learning effect was seen for the psychoacoustic method of adjustment used by HPD Well-Fit, explaining the shorter test times as subjects progressed through the unoccluded and occluded conditions. Most of the workers required about 5 minutes of training time. Test times and attenuations were tester-dependent, indicating the need to provide training to staff administering fit-tests in the workplace.
Hearing-protection; Workers; Ear-protection; Ear-protectors; Noise-control; Noise-protection; Adaptation; Training; Laboratory-testing; Equipment-reliability; Sound-attenuation; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America