The practices of in-ear dosimetry and individual hearing protection fit-testing should be considered an appropriate alternative as an individualized safety factor for the purposes of evaluating hearing protector effectiveness per Appendix B of 29CFR 1910.95.
At the time that 1910.95 was promulgated, in-ear dosimetry and individual fit testing of hearing protection in the field were not feasible. However, now several Field Attenuation Estimation Systems (FAES) are readily available to employers and in-ear dosimetry has been shown to be technologically feasible.
An MSHA sponsored study in partnership with Yale University provides evidence that in-ear dosimetry is an effective means of preventing further occupational noise-induced hearing loss.
Through the OSHA/NHCA/NIOSH Alliance, OSHA has recognized Hearing Protection Fit Testing as an emerging trend and “Best Practice” in 2008.