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CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)112547
CIS number 12-0286
Year 2009
Convention or series no. RR 727
Author(s) Shanks E., Patel J.
Health and Safety Executive
Title Market surveillance of custom-moulded earplugs
Bibliographic information HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. vi, 45p. Illus. 9 ref.
Internet access Market_surveillance_of_custom-moulded_earplugs_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Abstract Earplugs are available that are custom-moulded to the shape of an individual's ears. Such earplugs when used as personal protective equipment in the workplace can offer a longer life span, potential cost savings to employers and, it is often claimed, an improved level of protection and comfort compared to other forms of hearing protection. Five models of custom-moulded earplugs available in the United Kingdom were tested on six or seven individuals in order to examine the protection provided by such devices, and to identify any influencing factors on protection, comfort and fit. Apart from one poorly-performing earplug, the plugs provided attenuation (SNR values) in the range 16 to 24 decibels. Levels of protection for all plugs were lower than indicated by manufacturers, and statistical analysis suggested that three of the earplug models were not adequately represented by the manufacturer's attenuation data. There was no evidence to support the view that custom-moulded earplugs provide improved levels of protection compared to other forms of hearing protection. When checked against the labelling and information requirements of the relevant product standard, BS EN 352-2:2002, only one of the models completely satisfied the requirements of the standard. A variety of information was missing including attenuation data and fitting instructions.
Descriptors (primary) United Kingdom; equipment testing; sound attenuation; hearing protection; earplugs
Descriptors (secondary) reliability; public OSH institutions; report
Document type E - Books, reports, proceedings
Country / State or ProvinceUnited Kingdom
Subject(s) Personal protection
Noise, hearing and vibration
Broad subject area(s) Physical hazards
Browse category(ies) Hearing protection