Hearing protectors - Recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance - Guidance document

This document gives recommendations for the selection, use, care and maintenance of hearing protectors.

Gehörschützer - Empfehlungen für Auswahl, Einsatz, Pflege und Instandhaltung - Leitfaden

Dieses Dokument gibt Empfehlungen für Auswahl, Einsatz, Pflege und Instandhaltung von Gehörschützern.

Protecteurs individuels contre le bruit - Recommandations relatives à la sélection, à l'utilisation, aux précautions d'emploi et à l'entretien - Document guide

Le présent document fournit des recommandations relatives à la sélection, à l’utilisation, aux précautions d’emploi et à l’entretien des protecteurs individuels contre le bruit.

Varovala sluha - Priporočila za izbiro, uporabo, nego in vzdrževanje - Navodilo

V tem dokumentu so podana priporočila za izbiro, uporabo, nego in vzdrževanje opreme za varovanje sluha.

General Information

Status
Published
Public Enquiry End Date
14-Aug-2013
Publication Date
19-May-2016
Current Stage
6060 - National Implementation/Publication (Adopted Project)
Start Date
23-Mar-2016
Due Date
28-May-2016
Completion Date
20-May-2016

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SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST EN 458:2016
01-junij-2016
1DGRPHãþD
SIST EN 458:2005
9DURYDODVOXKD3ULSRURþLOD]DL]ELURXSRUDERQHJRLQY]GUåHYDQMH1DYRGLOR
Hearing protectors - Recommendations for selection, use, care and maintenance -
Guidance document
Gehörschützer - Empfehlungen für Auswahl, Einsatz, Pflege und Instandhaltung -
Leitfaden

Protecteurs individuels contre le bruit - Recommandations relatives à la sélection, à

l'utilisation, aux précautions d'emploi et à l'entretien - Document guide
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN 458:2016
ICS:
13.340.20 Varovalna oprema za glavo Head protective equipment
SIST EN 458:2016 en,fr,de

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST EN 458:2016
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458
EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPÉENNE
March 2016
EUROPÄISCHE NORM
ICS 13.340.20 Supersedes EN 458:2004
English Version
Hearing protectors - Recommendations for selection, use,
care and maintenance - Guidance document

Protecteurs individuels contre le bruit - Gehörschützer - Empfehlungen für Auswahl, Einsatz,

Recommandations relatives à la sélection, à Pflege und Instandhaltung - Leitfaden

l'utilisation, aux précautions d'emploi et à l'entretien -
Document guide
This European Standard was approved by CEN on 8 August 2015.

CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this

European Standard the status of a national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references

concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre or to any CEN

member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other language made by

translation under the responsibility of a CEN member into its own language and notified to the CEN-CENELEC Management

Centre has the same status as the official versions.

CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,

Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,

Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and

United Kingdom.
EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR STANDARDIZATION
COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION
EUROPÄISCHES KOMITEE FÜR NORMUNG
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre: Avenue Marnix 17, B-1000 Brussels

© 2016 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved Ref. No. EN 458:2016 E

worldwide for CEN national Members.
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
Contents Page

European foreword ....................................................................................................................................................... 5

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................... 6

1 Scope .................................................................................................................................................................... 7

2 Normative references .................................................................................................................................... 7

3 Terms and definitions ................................................................................................................................... 7

4 Symbols and abbreviations ......................................................................................................................... 9

5 Types of hearing protectors ........................................................................................................................ 9

5.1 Design forms ..................................................................................................................................................... 9

5.1.1 Earmuffs ............................................................................................................................................................. 9

5.1.2 Helmet mounted earmuffs ........................................................................................................................ 10

5.1.3 Earplugs ........................................................................................................................................................... 10

5.2 Function mode ............................................................................................................................................... 10

5.2.1 Basic function mode .................................................................................................................................... 10

5.2.2 Level-dependent hearing protectors .................................................................................................... 11

5.2.3 Active noise reduction (ANR) protectors ............................................................................................ 11

5.2.4 Hearing protectors with external audio input .................................................................................. 11

6 Selection .......................................................................................................................................................... 12

6.1 Principles ........................................................................................................................................................ 12

6.2 Selection according to sound attenuation ........................................................................................... 12

6.2.1 Guide to protection rating ......................................................................................................................... 12

6.2.2 Sound attenuation in practice (Real-world attenuation) .............................................................. 13

6.2.3 Acoustical selection methods .................................................................................................................. 13

6.2.4 Selection of combination of earmuffs and earplugs ........................................................................ 15

6.3 Selection according to work environment .......................................................................................... 15

6.3.1 Factors of work environment – overview ........................................................................................... 15

6.3.2 Acoustical factors ......................................................................................................................................... 15

6.3.3 Environmental factors (non-acoustic) ................................................................................................. 17

6.4 Communication ............................................................................................................................................. 19

6.4.1 Essential work related speech communication, especially speech intelligibility ................ 19

6.4.2 Effects of over-protection .......................................................................................................................... 19

6.5 Compatibility with other PPE .................................................................................................................. 19

6.6 Selection according to hearing protector types ................................................................................ 19

6.6.1 Earmuffs – General....................................................................................................................................... 19

6.6.2 Helmet-mounted earmuffs ....................................................................................................................... 19

6.6.3 Earplugs – General ....................................................................................................................................... 19

6.6.4 Hearing protectors with additional function modes ....................................................................... 20

6.7 Medical disorders......................................................................................................................................... 20

6.8 Ergonomics and fitting ............................................................................................................................... 20

6.9 Conformity with relevant requirements for incorporated electronics .................................... 21

6.9.1 Intrinsic safety .............................................................................................................................................. 21

6.9.2 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) ................................................................................................... 21

7 Use ..................................................................................................................................................................... 21

7.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 21

7.2 Availability of hearing protectors .......................................................................................................... 21

7.3 Correct fitting ................................................................................................................................................ 21

7.3.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 21

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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)

7.3.2 Earmuffs ........................................................................................................................................................... 21

7.3.3 Earplugs ........................................................................................................................................................... 22

7.3.4 Fit check for hearing protectors .............................................................................................................. 22

7.4 Simultaneous use of hearing protector with other PPE ................................................................. 22

7.4.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 22

7.4.2 Protective clothing ....................................................................................................................................... 22

7.4.3 Spectacles ........................................................................................................................................................ 22

7.4.4 Goggles .............................................................................................................................................................. 22

7.4.5 Face shields ..................................................................................................................................................... 22

7.4.6 Hoods ................................................................................................................................................................ 23

7.4.7 Safety helmets ................................................................................................................................................ 23

7.4.8 Respiratory protection devices ............................................................................................................... 23

7.5 Speech intelligibility and signal audibility .......................................................................................... 23

7.6 Instruction and training ............................................................................................................................. 23

7.6.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 23

7.6.2 Information ..................................................................................................................................................... 23

7.6.3 Special instructions for use including training .................................................................................. 24

7.7 Period of use ................................................................................................................................................... 24

7.8 Leisure activities ........................................................................................................................................... 25

8 Care and maintenance ................................................................................................................................ 25

8.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 25

8.2 Hygiene and cleaning .................................................................................................................................. 25

8.3 Inspection and replacement ..................................................................................................................... 25

8.4 Storage .............................................................................................................................................................. 25

8.5 Disposal ............................................................................................................................................................ 25

Annex A (normative) Methods for assessing the sound attenuation of a passive hearing

protector .......................................................................................................................................................... 26

A.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 26

A.2 Octave band method .................................................................................................................................... 29

A.3 HML method ................................................................................................................................................... 30

A.4 HML check method ....................................................................................................................................... 32

A.5 SNR method ..................................................................................................................................................... 33

Annex B (informative) Method for assessing the sound attenuation of a hearing protector

for impulsive noise ....................................................................................................................................... 34

B.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 34

B.2 Method .............................................................................................................................................................. 34

Annex C (informative) Selection method for sound-restoration level-dependent hearing

protectors using HML-data ........................................................................................................................ 36

C.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 36

C.2 Method 1: HML Method ............................................................................................................................... 36

C.3 Method 2A: HML check method - Measurement check ................................................................... 37

C.4 Method 2B: HML check method - Listening method......................................................................... 37

Annex D (informative) Selection method for active noise reduction hearing protectors ................. 38

Annex E (informative) Calculation method for hearing protectors with audio input ........................ 39

E.1 General ............................................................................................................................................................. 39

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EN 458:2016 (E)

E.2 Method ............................................................................................................................................................. 39

Annex F (informative) Improving field performance and special instructions for use ..................... 41

F.1 Improving field performance .................................................................................................................. 41

F.2 Special instructions for optimum use ................................................................................................... 42

Annex G (informative) Further guidance on fit check methods for earplugs ........................................ 45

G.1 General information .................................................................................................................................... 45

G.2 Fit check methods suitable for all types of earplugs ....................................................................... 45

G.3 Fit check method exclusive to custom moulded earplugs ............................................................. 46

Annex H (informative) Noise Types ...................................................................................................................... 47

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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
European foreword

This document (EN 458:2016) has been prepared by Technical Committee CEN/TC 159 “Hearing

protectors”, the secretariat of which is held by DIN.

This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by publication of an

identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by September 2016, and conflicting national standards

shall be withdrawn at the latest by September 2016.

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. CEN [and/or CENELEC] shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent

rights.
This document supersedes EN 458:2004.

This document has been prepared under a mandate given to CEN by the European Commission and the

European Free Trade Association.

According to the CEN-CENELEC Internal Regulations, the national standards organizations of the

following countries are bound to implement this European Standard: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,

Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,

France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta,

Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

Turkey and the United Kingdom.
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
Introduction

This European Standard is intended to guide employers, supervisors and safety advisors. Additionally,

the standard gives information to all who need to use hearing protectors.

Hearing protectors are items of personal protective equipment (PPE) intended to reduce the harmful

effects that sound and noise may have on the hearing.

Guidance is provided on how to best select, use and take care of such devices. Tools to estimate the

noise exposure level, when a certain hearing protector is used, are also provided.

National bodies may develop national application documents based on this standard.

Hearing protectors are generally available in two main forms: earmuffs and earplugs. Both forms are

available with additional features and functions. All have their advantages and disadvantages in terms

of attenuation, comfort, ease of use, communication facilities and cost.

In hearing conservation programmes noise hazard areas are identified and the personal noise exposure

is assessed. Before a suitable hearing protector is considered, priority should be given to reducing noise

at source and/or reducing the exposure time.

If the use of a hearing protector is found necessary or advisable, choosing optimum devices is a complex

task. The most important concern is for the protector to provide sufficient attenuation.

It is often desirable to retain the ability to hear speech and warning signals. To achieve this, the hearing

protector should not overprotect. In particular, this needs attention at moderate noise levels.

Hearing protectors are supplied with attenuation data in various formats. The attenuation is expressed

in decibels and has been derived from laboratory tests. It is important to note that these data have been

achieved under controlled laboratory conditions using trained test subjects. Under real working

conditions, the attenuation achieved by the user may be lower than that generated by the laboratory

testing.

The performance of hearing protectors is subject to natural variability amongst users. Correct fitting,

training, regular inspection and user motivation are important to obtain the desired protection. Due to

the natural variability, it is not possible to calculate the exact attenuation that a certain hearing

protector will give for an individual. If a more accurate prediction is required, some form of individual

attenuation check can be made. At high noise level exposures it is advisable to seek expert advice. In

some cases dual protection i.e. the use of an earmuff and an earplug combination, may be required.

For hearing protectors to be effective they should be used at all times when the user is in a potentially

hazardous noise environment. When selecting hearing protectors, attention should be given to factors

influencing comfort and user preference.
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
1 Scope

This European Standard gives recommendations for the selection, use, care and maintenance of hearing

protectors.
2 Normative references

The following documents, in whole or in part, are normatively referenced in this document and are

indispensable for its application. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For undated

references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

EN 352-1, Hearing protectors — General requirements — Part 1: Ear-Muffs
EN 352-2, Hearing protectors — General requirements — Part 2: Ear-plugs

EN 352-3, Hearing protectors — General requirements — Part 3: Ear-muffs attached to an industrial

safety helmet

EN 352-4, Hearing protectors — Safety requirements and testing — Part 4: Level-dependent ear-muffs

EN 352-5, Hearing protectors — Safety requirements and testing — Part 5: Active noise reduction ear-

muffs

EN 352-6, Hearing protectors — Safety requirements and testing — Part 6: Ear-muffs with electrical

audio input

EN 352-7, Hearing protectors — Safety requirements and testing — Part 7: Level-dependent ear-plugs

EN 352-8, Hearing protectors — Safety requirements and testing — Part 8: Entertainment audio ear-

muffs

EN 24869-1, Acoustics — Hearing protectors — Subjective method for the measurement of sound

attenuation (ISO 4869-1)

EN 61672-1, Electroacoustics — Sound level meters — Part 1: Specifications (IEC 61672-1)

EN ISO 4869-2, Acoustics — Hearing protectors — Part 2: Estimation of effective A-weighted sound

pressure levels when hearing protectors are worn (ISO 4869-2)

EN ISO 7731, Ergonomics — Danger signals for public and work areas — Auditory danger signals

(ISO 7731)

EN ISO 9612, Acoustics — Determination of occupational noise exposure — Engineering method

(ISO 9612)
EN ISO 9921, Ergonomics — Assessment of speech communication (ISO 9921)
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
3.1
daily noise exposure level (L )
EX,8h
A-weighted noise exposure level normalized to a nominal 8 h working day
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
3.2
peak sound pressure level (L )
p,Cpeak
C-weighted instantaneous peak sound pressure level according to EN ISO 9612
3.3
national regulation level (L' )

daily noise exposure level (L ) effective to the ear according to national regulations

EX,8h

Note 1 to entry: National laws or regulations will stipulate at which levels of exposure hearing protectors shall

be provided or used.
3.4
national peak regulation level (L' )
NR,peak
peak pressure level L effective to the ear according to national regulations
p,Cpeak

Note 1 to entry: National laws or regulations will stipulate at which levels of exposure hearing protectors shall

be provided or used.
3.5
effective attenuation
measure of protection afforded by the hearing protector for the user
3.6
over-protection

selection and use of a hearing protector with too high attenuation which may lead to a sense of isolation

and difficulties with perception of sounds
3.7
A-weighted sound pressure level (L )
p,A
sound pressure level with frequency weighting A according to EN 61672-1
3.8
A-weighted sound pressure level effective to the ear (L' )
p,A

A-weighted diffuse field equivalent sound pressure level under the hearing protector for the external

sound pressure level L
p,A
3.9
C-weighted sound pressure level (L )
p,C
sound pressure level with frequency weighting C according to EN 61672-1
3.10
A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level effective to the ear (L' )
p,A,eqT

A-weighted diffuse field equivalent sound pressure level under the hearing protector for the external

sound pressure level for time period T L
p,A,eqT

Note 1 to entry: For simplicity of notation, the subscript T is omitted throughout the following text.

3.11
effective daily noise exposure level (L' )
EX,8h

A-weighted diffuse field equivalent sound pressure level under the hearing protector for the external

noise exposure level L
EX,8h
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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)
3.12
peak sound pressure level effective to the ear (L' )
p,Cpeak

C-weighted peak sound pressure level under the hearing protector for the external sound pressure level

p,Cpeak
3.13
flat frequency response

attenuation which is constant (or nearly constant) over the frequencies (H – L ≤ 9 dB)

Note 1 to entry: See A.1 for explanation of “H” and “L”.
4 Symbols and abbreviations

For the purposes of this document, the following symbols and abbreviations apply.

f centre frequency of the octave band in Hz
L equivalent sound pressure level
p,eq
L sound pressure level for a single octave band
p,oct
L , equivalent sound pressure level for a single octave band
p,oct eq
PNR predicted noise level reduction according to EN ISO 4869-2
APV assumed protection value APV according to EN ISO 4869-2
f f84
rms root mean square
L daily noise exposure level
EX,8h
L C-weighted peak sound pressure level
p,Cpeak
L' national regulation level
L' national peak regulation level
NR,peak
L A-weighted sound pressure level
p,A
L' A-weighted sound pressure level effective to the ear
p,A
L C-weighted sound pressure level
p,C
L A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level
p,A,eqT
L C-weighted equivalent sound pressure level
p,C,eqT
L' A-weighted equivalent sound pressure level effective to the ear
p,A,eqT
L' effective daily noise exposure level
EX,8h
L' peak sound pressure level effective to the ear
p,Cpeak

NOTE For simplification of notation, the subscript T is omitted throughout the following text.

5 Types of hearing protectors
5.1 Design forms
5.1.1 Earmuffs

Earmuffs consist of cups which fit over the ears and are sealed to the head with soft cushions, usually

filled with foam and/or liquid. The cups are usually lined with sound absorptive material. They are

connected by a tensioning band (head band), usually made of metal and/or plastic. When the earmuff is

used behind-the-head or under-the-chin, a flexible head strap is sometimes fitted to each cup or to the

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SIST EN 458:2016
EN 458:2016 (E)

head band close to the cups to support the earmuff. Some earmuffs have one cup intended only for the

left ear and the other only for the right ear. Earmuffs may be available in ‘medium size range’, ‘small size

range’ and ‘large size range’ types. ‘Medium size range' earmuffs will fit the majority of users. ‘Small size

range' or ‘large size range' earmuffs are designed to fit users for whom ‘medium size range' earmuffs

are not suitable.

Earmuffs are available with head bands, neck bands, chin bands and universal bands. Earmuffs with

neck bands and chin bands permit the s
...

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