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Diversified technology company 3M is promoting a new system that provides a completely objective test of the ‘at-ear’ protection being offered by hearing protection equipment (HPE).

Compatible with a variety of 3M HPE products, the 3M Earfit Validation System generates, in 8sec, a personal attenuation rating (PAR) that indicates a worker’s noise-reduction level for that given HPE item.

Not only does this verify that the required legal level of protection is being offered, but it also gives an indication of whether products are being correctly fitted, so further training can be provided if necessary.

The system’s dual-element microphone measures across seven frequencies (125 – 8KHz), providing a completely objective reading, meaning there is no longer any need to rely on subjective test responses from individual workers.

The test results are documented for each test subject for future reference.

The 3M Earfit Validation System is suited for organisations seeking to implement a hearing-conservation programme, with the flexibility to establish baseline values for new workers; identify workers who may be receiving inadequate protection; and validate protection levels received by workers in high-noise areas.

It also helps motivate employees by educating them about the control they have over protecting their hearing and how to fit products correctly.

Among the companies to have trialled it is Cornwall-based ship repair contractor A and P Falmouth, which undertakes a variety of fabrication and refurbishment work to commercial and military vessels.

Potentially the most problematic area in terms of noise generation is the process of ultra-high-pressure water jetting to remove paints and coatings, which can generate sound levels of up to 120dB.

Keen to maintain and increase awareness of the potential dangers of excessive exposure to noise among its employees, the company asked 3M to undertake a noise check, which involved the measurement of noise levels at different locations within the facility.

This helped to identify the types of products appropriate for each employee to ensure at-ear noise thresholds are not exceeded.

The next stage has involved 3M in training a small team from A and P in using the 3M Earfit Validation System, with all employees at Falmouth now being tested to ensure products are being correctly fitted and used.

The system will also be used for all new employees and contractors who start work on site.

3M system provides test of HPE at-ear protection

Diversified technology company 3M is promoting a new system that provides a completely objective test of the ‘at-ear’ protection being offered by hearing protection equipment (HPE).

Compatible with a variety of 3M HPE products, the 3M Earfit Validation System generates, in 8sec, a personal attenuation rating (PAR) that indicates a worker’s noise-reduction level for that given HPE item.

Not only does this verify that the required legal level of protection is being offered, but it also gives an indication of whether products are being correctly fitted, so further training can be provided if necessary.

The system’s dual-element microphone measures across seven frequencies (125 – 8KHz), providing a completely objective reading, meaning there is no longer any need to rely on subjective test responses from individual workers.

The test results are documented for each test subject for future reference.

The 3M Earfit Validation System is suited for organisations seeking to implement a hearing-conservation programme, with the flexibility to establish baseline values for new workers; identify workers who may be receiving inadequate protection; and validate protection levels received by workers in high-noise areas.

It also helps motivate employees by educating them about the control they have over protecting their hearing and how to fit products correctly.

Among the companies to have trialled it is Cornwall-based ship repair contractor A and P Falmouth, which undertakes a variety of fabrication and refurbishment work to commercial and military vessels.

Potentially the most problematic area in terms of noise generation is the process of ultra-high-pressure water jetting to remove paints and coatings, which can generate sound levels of up to 120dB.

Keen to maintain and increase awareness of the potential dangers of excessive exposure to noise among its employees, the company asked 3M to undertake a noise check, which involved the measurement of noise levels at different locations within the facility.

This helped to identify the types of products appropriate for each employee to ensure at-ear noise thresholds are not exceeded.

The next stage has involved 3M in training a small team from A and P in using the 3M Earfit Validation System, with all employees at Falmouth now being tested to ensure products are being correctly fitted and used.

The system will also be used for all new employees and contractors who start work on site.

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