OHS Canada Magazine

NHCA Workshop To Address Field Verification Of HPD Attenuation

January 27, 2006

Health & Safety

Smithfield, RI — A persistent problem in hearing protection–that of assessing the actual performance of hearing protection devices in the field–will be addressed by a panel of leading experts at this year’s conference of the National Hearing Conservation Association. Moderated by Brad Witt, MA, CCC-A, Audiology and Regulatory Affairs Manager for the Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group, the workshop will present four different systems for measuring real-world attenuation and provide a hands-on demonstration of each to allow attendees to evaluate their effectiveness. A panel discussion will follow.

“Until recently, there has been no consistent method of actually measuring in the field how much protection is provided by a Hearing Protection Device (HPD)” said Witt. “And the apparent disparity between published ratings (NRRs) and real-world performance has caused OSHA and NIOSH to recommend various de-rating schemes–reducing published ratings by up to 70% in some cases–to ensure adequate protection. However, critics have argued that de-rating not only exaggerates the problem, but risks overprotection by forcing workers to use protectors with higher ratings than they really need.”

New developments in field verification of HPD attenuation help bridge the gap between laboratory and workplace, and can help eliminate concerns of both under- and over-protection. The NHCA workshop will review four systems in detail, presented by these leading experts:

 Dr. Kevin Michael of Michael and Associates will demonstrate his FitCheck verification system and doseBusters measured exposure.
 Dr. Sig Soli of the House Ear Institute will present a QuickFit attenuation verification system.
 Lee Hager of Sonomax will present the Sonomax system for verified custom protection.

Following the demonstrations, a panel discussion/Q&A session will address several related issues, including: the possible obsolescence of laboratory-based NRRs; whether field verification will eliminate the need for de-rating; whether it will fulfill all aspects of OSHA compliance; whether field verification can be used in court; as well as future trends for field verification.

The 2006 NHCA Conference is the Association’s 31st annual conference and will be held on February 16-18 in Tampa, FL. More information can be found on the NHCA website at www.hearingconservation.org or by emailing Karen Wojdyla at kwojdyla@gwami.com

Combining the innovation and expertise of Howard Leight(R) Earplugs and Bilsom(R) Earmuffs, the Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of personal protective equipment, offering a comprehensive range of safety products designed to protect people from hazards in the workplace. The Group specializes in head protection equipment (eye and face, respiratory and hearing protection), body protection equipment (clothing, gloves and footwear) and fall protection equipment. With a worldwide presence and over 6,000 people, Bacou-Dalloz endeavors to contribute to ongoing improvements in workplace health and safety by providing innovative, comfort-engineered products that workers want to wear. The Groups products are sold through a worldwide network of distributor partners for use in all sectors of activity (construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, homeland security, petrochemicals, medical, public services, etc.). Bacou-Dalloz is listed on the Premier March of the Euronext stock exchange in Paris, and is part of the SBF 120 index.

For additional information, contact:
Bacou-Dalloz Hearing Safety Group
7828 Waterville Road
San Diego, CA 92154
Tel: 800/430-5490
Fax: 401/232-3110
email: rbessette@bacou-dalloz.com


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