How often should we conduct hearing protection fit testing?
To best accomplish your hearing loss prevention goals, most companies follow these general rules of thumb for fit testing/retesting:
- new employees and those new to the hearing conservation program
- when a worker changes to a new type of hearing protector
- when an employee has shown Standard Threshold Shift (STS) or other significant shift in hearing
- in cases of physical changes to the ear such as injury, surgery, etc. that affect the fit of the hearing protector
- when a worker expresses concerns or complaints about hearing protector fit/attenuation
- some employers conduct routine retesting (every few years for example) for all employees, while others choose to target routine retests only for individuals with very high noise exposures (using dual hearing protection), for those working hearing-critical jobs, or those who have experienced past shifts in hearing or other concerns
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)?