PDC 417

Hearing Protection, Communication, and Hearing Loss Prevention





intermediate | Credits: 8 CM Credit Hours / 0.8 CEU / 0.5 CMP
Sunday, May 22 | 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Limit: 35




Hearing protection devices (HPDs) continue to be the primary method used to reduce noise exposure on the job when engineering noise controls and administrative controls are not adequate. Participants in this course will learn how HPDs are tested and rated, key considerations for selecting devices, and how new fit testing technologies enhance program success. Participants will understand of the challenges of communicating in noise with HPDs and the importance of balancing communication and protection. Of course, HPDs can function effectively only within a comprehensive, well-managed hearing conservation program. Participants will learn how monitoring both workplace noise and employee audiometric data is critical to determining the work-relatedness and recordability of hearing loss. Techniques for enhancing worker training and motivation will be shared with participants. Participants will be actively involved in solving practical hearing protection and communication challenges. A hands-on fitting practicum will provide experience in fitting today’s most popular styles of earplugs and earmuffs and procedures for checking the fit of these devices.


Participants should have experience with hearing conservation practices, noise measurement, noise regulations, and hearing protectors. Participants should read Attitudes toward Use of Hearing Protection Devices and Effects of an Intervention on Fit-Testing Results. Suggested readings also include Hearing Protection for Impulse Noise, The Ardent Hearing Conservationist, and EARlog (articles 3, 7, 13, 19, and 20).

Value Added

An electronic version of AIHA’s The Noise Manual, 5th Edition provided. Hands-on fitting practicum includes a variety of HPDs, training tools, and earlights for ear canal inspection to assist in fitting. Participants may bring HPDs that they might like assistance in fitting.


Upon completion, participants will be able to:

  • Describe how HPD attenuation is measured in the laboratory and the real world and how to use attenuation data to select HPDs for target applications.
  • Identify what affects the listener’s ability to communicate in noise and how HPDs interact with that process.
  • Apply state-of-the-art HPD technologies to select the appropriate devices and train users accordingly.
  • Use audiometric data for employee education and the support of decisions regarding work-related noise-induced hearing loss.
  • Enhance employee training and motivation programs especially through use of interactive techniques.
  • Demonstrate skill in fitting the most popular types of earplugs and earmuffs .


  • Hearing Protection testing, rating, and performance
  • Laboratory measurements
  • Real-world performance of HPDs
  • Selection, use, fitting and care of HPDs
  • Hands-On fitting practicum
  • Effective techniques for teaching workers to fit and properly wear HPDs
  • Balancing communication and protection
  • Protective communication technologies
  • Records needed for determining work-related hearing loss
  • Case studies
  • Interactive demonstrations for training classes

Transfer of Knowledge

Instructors will evaluate participants understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Hands-on demonstrations and practicum

Course Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/16PDC417

Sponsoring Committee