Why should we conduct hearing protection fit testing?
Hearing protection fit testing is now considered best practice for any occupational health and safety program. Benefits of fit testing include:
- Selecting the style and size hearing protector that is appropriate for each worker's noise exposure, work environment and personal preferences
- Verifying the amount of protection provided in the real world instead of relying on outdated de-rating calculations of laboratory NRR values
- Proactively identifying workers with poorly-fitting hearing protectors who are at increased risk of developing hearing loss/shifts in hearing
- Improving employee knowledge of hearing protector fit and use, leading to greater motivation for personal safety
- Accomplishing required follow-up in cases of Standard Threshold Shift (STS) and other significant shifts in hearing by verifying refit and retraining of hearing protection devices
- Producing written documentation of your hearing loss prevention efforts
For more information:
- I've seen headsets and hearing protectors advertised as OSHA approved - what does this mean?
- My job can be boring. Is it OK if I listen to music headphones while I'm working?
- What is NRR or Noise Reduction Rating?
- What is the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR)?
- Why do OSHA formulas require us to subtract 7 dB from the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)?