While awaiting the new EPA's labeling regulation, train users to fit protectors correctly

EPA's final rule regarding hearing protection labeling is still pending. The proposed rule changes the very heart of the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). The new NRR will be a range that is reported from very different testing methods than the old (current) NRR. These proposed labels do provide more information for the consumer but might also lead to some confusion. Knowing what kind of hearing protectors are best for a given situation will help understand the information provided on the new labels. The proposed method for labeling hearing protector includes the obvious but often misunderstood concept that "The sound pressure level at the user's ears will depend upon the fit of the protector." The best way to use the time while we're awaiting the new regulation on labeling of hearing protectors is to train users to fit the protector correctly and to use fit testing to document the protection provided by a given hearing protector.

Source : Theresa Y. Schulz. HEARING PROTECTION: Hearing Conservation in 2012: Focus on NRR.Occupational Health & Safety. March 2012.


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