When loud noises cannot be reduced or eliminated through engineering controls, workers who are exposed to them must use hearing protection devices (HPDs) to conserve their hearing. This notion is not new, nor is the concept that HPDs require fit-testing to be effective. After all, if the HPD doesn’t fit well or isn’t correctly worn, it may not block out enough noise to do its job.
For many years the constraints of existing fit-testing technology – such as the high cost of equipment and the length of time needed for testing - limited its implementation. Additionally, some systems were only capable of testing certain HPDs.1