Real world use and performance of hearing protection

This report considers the effectiveness of hearing protectors in everyday work
situations. The study was undertaken in two parts. The first consisted of
interviews with employers to discuss management of noise and hearing protector
use, and on site observation of hearing protector use. The purpose of these
visits was to see:

  • how well hearing protection was used;

  • the training provided;

  • the use of other PPE and equipment that may limit attenuation;

  • behavioural factors affecting use, taking into account the noise exposure of employees and the environment in which the hearing protection is worn.

The second part was objective laboratory measurements of hearing protector
insertion loss. The purpose of these measurements was to quantify the reduction
in protection due to poor fitting or maintenance for a range of hearing
protectors. Earmuffs were tested using the MIRE (microphone in real ear) method
while earplug insertion loss was measured using a head and torso simulator with
a simulated pinna and ear canal.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions
expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE

Download the full report from this page - Source: Health and Safety Executive (HSE)