3M E-A-Rfit Dual-Ear Validation System
The E-A-Rfit Dual-Ear Validation System is based on field microphone-in-real ear technology, a quantitative and fully objective method to test the actual protection workers receive from their hearing protectors.
The system incorporates a loudspeaker for presentation of the test signal and a pair of dual-element microphones to measure the sound level in both ears simultaneously. The dual-element microphones measure the test signal outside the ear as well as the sound level inside the wearer’s ear canal, underneath the 3M probed hearing protectors. Then, the software estimates the personal attenuation rating (PAR) in less than 5 s, eliminating any subjectiveness from the test method. The E-A-Rfit Dual-Ear Validation System also has earmuff testing capabilities.
Use of the 3M E-A-Rfit Dual-Ear Validation System allows organisations to: (a) enhance/implement their hearing conservation program by assisting with the selection of appropriate protectors for workers and their environments; (b) identify and prioritise workers with low PARs who are consequently at risk for developing noise-induced hearing loss; (c) select and assign hearing protection devices (HPD) based on noise exposures, individual protection levels and anatomy of the worker’s ear canal; (d) train OHS professionals and motivate employees on the proper use and fit of HPDs; (e) provide data that may be accepted by regulatory agencies as a better alternative to using labelled attenuation values to assess HPD adequacy; (f) maintain record keeping and auditing processes; and (g) provide useful documentation to demonstrate hearing loss prevention efforts.
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