Fit testing for ear plugs can be an invaluable tool in reducing compensation claims for noise-induced hearing loss at the workplace. Fit testing records can help document that effective steps were taken to select appropriate hearing protectors, train workers in their proper use, and to document a proper fit with a particular protector. This level of powerful documentation has been unavailable for many hearing conservation programs in the past.
CHP provide onsite fit testing around WA, including on our regional road trips with our WorkCover accredited audiometric testing truck. We can provide ear plug fit testing at the same time as WorkCover hearing tests, and in line with your Noise Survey recommendations.
Fit testing for hearing protectors
Fit testing is gaining greater adoption by hearing conservation experts and by industry as a key tool in hearing loss prevention.
In a Best Practice Bulletin issued by an alliance between the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) and OSHA, ear plug fit testing was endorsed as a recommended best practice in reducing occupational hearing loss as well as a metric to assess a hearing conservation program’s overall effectiveness. The bulletin also cited fit testing as a way to “match the employee’s hearing protector attenuation to his/her noise exposure level. This may be particularly useful in hearing critical jobs or for those with hearing impairment.”
While many occupational hearing conservation programs have the best intentions to ensure that workers are using hearing protectors, the ultimate goal is to ensure that workers wear them properly 100 percent of the time when exposed to hazardous noise. No generalised rating scheme for hearing protectors can be effective without knowing how much attenuation individual workers actually attain.
Ear plug fit testing technology better enables and empowers workers to achieve this goal to facilitate a life of healthy hearing.