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Tuesday, July 9 • 10:50 - 11:10
EARPLUG PERSONAL ATTENUATION RATING (PAR) IN NOISE-EXPOSED WORKERS: EVOLUTION OVER A FIVE WEEKS FOLLOW-UP

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In Quebec (Canada), the most prevalent and expensive occupational disease is noise-induced hear-ing loss (NIHL). Noise reduction at the source or during the propagation path is not always possi-ble and is often costly, resulting in a frequent use of hearing protection devices (HPDs), such as earplugs, to prevent workers from NIHL. Multiple studies have shown that workers are not pro-tected to the level expected by the labelled attenuation given by the HPDs manufacturers. One of the causes for this discrepancy is the lack of training about HPDs insertion. This study aims to document the noise-exposed worker's ability to adequately insert three different earplug models over a 5-week follow-up. To date, eighteen workers exposed to a high continuous noise level com-pleted a questionnaire about their noise exposure history and HPDs experience. They were then group trained to insert the earplugs. A calibrated 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Dual-Ear Validation System was used to measure the personal attenuation rating (PAR) and train them individually for proper insertion during five weeks. During each fit test procedure, the earplug insertion was adapted by the worker until a PAR≥10 was obtained, and the worker wore the tested earplug model in the noisy workplace for a week. Workers followed this PAR measurement procedure and tested roll-down foam model for two weeks, push-to-fit model for two weeks, and premolded model for one week. All the quantitative data were analysed using SAS. Different levels of analyses were con-ducted. Results about the workers' experience to insert the three different earplug models and the number of PAR trials will be presented considering the worker HPD experience and training prior to and during the study.


Tuesday July 9, 2019 10:50 - 11:10 EDT
Outremont 4
  T06 Industr. and occup. Noise & vib., SS01 Hearing protection