Plant & Works Engineering
Hearing protection system wins
Published:  12 July, 2010

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has awarded its Product Innovation Award to VeriPRO, the earplug fit testing system from Howard Leight by Sperian. The Award, which is designed to recognise excellence and innovation within the safety industry, was presented at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards Gala Dinner held during Safety and Health Expo 2010.
VeriPRO makes it easy to determine the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) of a worker fitted with any earplugs through a simple listening test. This allows both safety managers and workers to ascertain if the worker receives optimal protection from noise with their earplugs, requires additional training, or needs to try a different model.
"Hearing conservation is an area that we are passionate about”, said Josephine Audoin, marketing manager for Sperian Protection UK. "We are delighted that the genuine innovation demonstrated by VeriPRO has been recognised by the British safety community."
A report recently issued by the HSE entitled Real World Use and Performance of Hearing Protection gave a positive indication about the availability of appropriate Hearing Protection Devices (HPDs) in the UK. However, it also reported that "possibly only 60% of workers supposedly using hearing protection are in fact protected”. One of the major reasons for this (and this applies particularly to ear plugs) is that the HPD is incorrectly fitted. Another concern for employers is the weakness of the Single Number Rating (SNR) system in regards to the specification of earplugs. The SNR system only provides a theoretical level of hearing protection as opposed to an actual measurement of protection.
To help combat these issues, Howard Leight by Sperian developed VeriPRO. VeriPRO benefits those that manage safety and employees alike. For the safety professional, occupational health manager or site manager it fulfils European Directive 2003/10/EC requirements for training. For employees, VeriPRO demonstrates the importance of hearing protection in the workplace, and helps employees select and compare protectors to find the best choice for their ears and specific applications.
Unlike other field verification systems, VeriPRO can be used with any earplug, and the tests performed in virtually any setting. VeriPRO offers two test protocols. The complete check runs employees through five frequencies to determine PAR and is recommended for annual use. The Quick Check is a simplified test of earplug fit at one frequency, used as a fast and easy pass/fail check for more frequent use.
The VeriPRO package consists of PC-based software, an audiometrically optimised headset, audio processor, QuickStart guide and USB cable.

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