Determination of Sound Attenuation of Ear-plugs Using Audiometers

Invited paper

Sandra Dantscher


Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 08:40 - 09:00

0.4 Brussels (189)

It is known that especially ear-plugs have a significantly reduced real-world attenuation compared to measurements in the lab, e.g. for EC type examination. In order to identify wearers with reduced real-world attenuation, to improve the performance by training or to assess the suitability of the selected hearing protector the individual sound attenuation may be of interest. For this goal often audiometers (or audiometer-like systems) are used. Audiometers are typically available in companies for threshold screening in hearing conservation programs. This offers the possibility that the occupational physician can combine the measurement of the individual sound attenuation with the standard hearing loss screening. The presentation addresses the question of measurement uncertainty of such audiometric systems for the sound attenuation of an individual ear-plug. Basis for this are measurements that compare the sound attenuation determined by an audiometer with the results from the method according to EN ISO 4869-1 used for EC type examination. The uncertainty of the audiometric method has to be taken into account if the individual values are to be compared with the type examination values in order to assess the suitability of the ear-plug.

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