OHS Canada Magazine

Howard Leight Brochure Details Expected NRR Labeling Changes for Hearing Protectors

October 20, 2008

Health & Safety

Smithfield, RI In anticipation of the EPA’s expected change to the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR), Howard Leight has issued a brochure that explains known details of the proposed changes for hearing protectors. Titled, “Inside the EPA’s Proposed Change to the Noise Reduction Rating,” the brochure is designed as a handy information resource for safety managers, providing background on the impending new rating system and the ANSI testing protocols on which it is expected to be based. A chart provides a clear comparison of key elements of the current and proposed NRR regulations, and a sample product label shows how the new NRR scheme will be applied. An extensive Q&A provides additional background on the details of the anticipated regulation and its impact on occupational Hearing Conservation programs.

“As we all know, the current NRR lacks real-world perspective that comes with the individual use of earplugs and earmuffs,” said Renee S. Bessette, Marketing Manager for Howard Leight. “This anticipated change to the NRR is expected to help to personalize Hearing Conservation programs for workers and improve its overall efficacy.”

Since 1974, the EPA has used the NRR to measure hearing protector effectiveness. However, it has been criticized for being too generous in predicting the noise reduction (attenuation) of hearing protectors, since it is based upon idealized laboratory testing. Under the expected regulation, a new rating system will be used. While it will still be known as the NRR, and still be based on laboratory tests, it will now reflect a range of expected protection, instead of a single-number estimate. The lower number of the range will indicate how much attenuation minimally trained users can expect, while the higher number will indicate how much attenuation highly motivated, trained users can expect to achieve.

The brochure also provides perspective for Hearing Conservation program managers and other safety professionals on steps they can take now, including the use of HPD evaluation tools such as Howard Leight’s VeriPRO fit testing system. Through simple listening tests, VeriPRO can determine the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of an earplug’s fit, and identify if employees are receiving optimal protection, require additional training on how to fit their earplug, or need to try a different model.

Copies of the brochure are available through the company website at http://www.howardleight.com/bestpractices

About Howard Leight:

Since its beginnings as a one-man operation more than 30 years ago, Howard Leight by Sperian has grown into one of the largest global manufacturers of hearing protectors in the industrial market and the recognized innovator in protection and people-oriented fit. Howard Leight offers the widest variety of hearing protection devices and technology, ranging from the highest attenuating Max single-use earplug, to SmartFit earplugs with Conforming Material Technology which delivers a more personalized fit to VeriPRO, the new industry-changing fit verification system for hearing protectors. Howard Leight earmuffs raise the bar on innovative design, performance and comfort, with features like padded wire headbands, high- visibility designs, unique sound management technologies and multi-level attenuation options. Visit Howard Leight online at http://www.howardleight.com

With nearly 6,000 employees worldwide, Sperian Protection is resolutely geared towards international markets. The world leader in personal protective equipment (hearing, eye, respiratory and fall protection, gloves, clothing and footwear), the Group offers innovative products adapted to high-risk environments so that all workers in the manufacturing and services industries can work with confidence. Sperian Protection is listed on Euronext’s Eurolist and on the SBF120.


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories