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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 25  |  Page : 41--47

Instruction and the improvement of hearing protector performance

National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia

Correspondence Address:
W Williams
Senior Research Engineer, National Acoustic Laboratories, 126 Greville Street, NSW 2067
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15703148

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Too often, in spite of the encouragement of those who advocate the removal of noise from the workplace as the preferred solution to noise exposure, hearing protectors are provided as the first line of defence against noise. Unfortunately hearing protectors are too often supplied with no real instruction or education in their use. This degrades their performance considerably. In this project the attenuation performance of one particular model of earplug was compared with and without instructions to test subjects. The instructions given were the most basic as commonly supplied on the plastic packaging containing the plugs. The attenuation performance (SLC80) of the plugs with the instructions was 16 dB greater than without the instructions. Overall performance was improved in every octave band with smaller associated standard deviations. The comparison showed that even with a very modest amount of instruction attenuation performance can be significantly improved.


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