Hearing Protector Fit-testing with Off-Shore Oil-rig Inspectors in Louisiana and Texas
Published Date:Jul 14 2016
Source:Int J Audiol. 55(11):688-698.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC5333758
Funding:CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
This field study aimed to assess the noise reduction of hearing protection for individual workers, demonstrate the effectiveness of training on the level of protection achieved, and measure the time required to implement hearing protector fit-testing in the workplace.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted field studies in Louisiana and Texas to test the performance of HPD Well-Fit.
Fit tests were performed on 126 inspectors and engineers working in the offshore oil industry.
Workers were fit tested with the goal of achieving a 25 dBA PAR. Less than half of the workers were achieving sufficient protection from their hearing protectors prior to NIOSH intervention and training; following re-fitting and re-training, over 85% of the workers achieved sufficient protection. Typical test times were 6 to 12 minutes.
Fit testing of the workers’ earplugs identified those workers who were and were not achieving the desired level of protection. Recommendations for other hearing protection solutions were made for workers who could not achieve the target PAR. The study demonstrates the need for individual hearing protector fit testing and addresses some of the barriers to implementation.
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