Detecting noise levels in the workplace is the first step to ensure your workforce is protected. Complying with regulations, selecting appropriate protection and analyzing noise control options are all easier with 3M solutions for exposure assessment, noise analysis and employee engagement. 3M's accurate, reliable, and flexible instrumentation coupled with powerful software is the innovative solution for your noise detection challenge.
Once you have detected your noise level, it is critical to select a hearing protector that your employees are motivated to wear. 3M has the broadest selection of hearing protectors for a wide range of environments. Trouble fitting your plugs? Need to communicate in noise? Dirty hands? Hot, humid conditions? These are just a few of the many challenges that 3M's innovative products can solve for you. 3M global experts are available for consultation on your specific hearing protection challenge.
You have offered hearing protection to your workers. Now, how do you gain confidence they are protected? 3M™ E-A-Rfit™ Validation System utilizes F-Mire technology to measure the level of employee hearing protection in just 10 seconds. Workers receive their own personal attenuation rating (PAR) and learn how correctly inserting the right earplug increases their level of protection. Learn more about E-A-Rfit validation system.
3M has a broad selection of hearing protectors for a wide range of environments. Trouble fitting your ear plugs? Need to communicate in noise? Dirty hands? Hot, humid conditions? These are just a few of the many challenges that 3M’s innovative products can help solve for you. 3M global experts are available for consultation on your specific hearing protection challenge.
Free on-site hearing conservation training for your employees! Learn More
Visit 3M's Safety eLearning Portal. This is a unique, customized portal that provides helpful training and education resources for hearing conservation enthusiasts, students and instructors. Learn More
3M™ E-A-R™ Hearing Conservation Seminars
There's no better way to educate yourself and your staff about the current regulations, equipment choices, employee training programs and legal issues related to noise hazards and hearing conservation. Conducted by two of the industry's most respected hearing experts, these day-long seminars discuss, in detail, how to asses noise problems and properly protect your employees. View Schedule and Registration
As the EPA works to better align Noise Reduction Ratings (NRR) with real-world use of hearing protection, a number of proposed changes to testing, labeling and regulation are underway. You’ll find the latest NRR updates and information as they unfold in our “News” section of our Quick Links above.
What is the NRR? The NRR is a rating system that was intended to act as a simple guide for consumers and professionals to choose hearing protection. Why is the NRR changing? Proposed changes are intended to provide a more accurate guide of how hearing protector performance varies from one person to the next. What do changes in NRR mean to me? As changes in NRR labels appear, it’s possible that associated OSHA compliance policies could change. We’ll help bring you updates as more announcements are made.
3M's E-A-RCAL Acoustical Laboratory, established in 1979, has offered contract testing since 1992. The principal service offered is the measurement of the real-ear attenuation at threshold (REAT) of hearing protection devices (HPDs). Additional services include objective hearing protector and earphone measurements utilizing either KEMAR or the ANSI S12.42-2010 or ISO/TR 4869-3 acoustical test fixtures, or miniature microphones and/or probe microphones placed in real ears. Previous clients include Mobil Research and Development Corp., Quest Electronics, Etymotic Research, Welch Allyn, and other corporations and government agencies.
Testing is conducted in a 113-m3 double-wall structure with isolated outer and inner foundations. The Sound Transmission Class (STC) of the combined structure exceeds 75 dB, providing noise levels in the room of <16 dBA (approximately 20 dB in the 125-Hz octave band). REAT measurements can be conducted over an extended frequency range, from 80 Hz to 16 kHz. Insertion-loss measurements cover an even wider frequency range, extending from 50 Hz to 16 kHz.
All of the electroacoustic aspects of the facility and instrumentation comply with ANSI S3.19-1974 and S12.6-2008.
E-A-RCAL Laboratory was the first facility accredited by the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) to conduct tests in conformance with ANSI S3.19-1974, and is also accredited for S12.6-2008. In achieving accreditation the laboratory has demonstrated competence and adherence to a rigorous set of procedural, quality-control, and recordkeeping requirements. Accreditation is maintained via regular audits by NVLAP assessors.
History of the facility
The E-A-RCAL facility was designed by and constructed under the supervision of Elliott H. Berger in 1977, and has been utilized for hearing protector testing since 1979. Since then, more than 1800 REAT evaluations have been conducted. E-A-RCAL laboratory participated in an EPA inter-laboratory comparison study of hearing protector attenuation measurements which was conducted in the early 1980s, and in 1990 was one of four participants in the inter-laboratory comparison research conducted under the auspices of the Acoustical Society of America's accredited standards working group S12/WG11, Hearing Protector Attenuation and Performance. This work led to the development of ANSI S12.6-1997, "Methods for measuring the real-ear attenuation of hearing protectors.“
Personnel Elliott H. Berger, M.S., Division Scientist.
Elliott conducts research and development into hearing protector performance, design and utilization. He has written over 60 articles on hearing protection/conservation and was the principal editor for the 5th edition of the AIHA Noise Manual. Elliott chairs ANSI working group S12/WG11 on hearing protector performance and is also involved with numerous other standards committees. Ronald W. Kieper, A.A.S., COHC, Senior Acoustical Technician.
Ron has been conducting hearing protector tests for E-A-R, Aearo Company and 3M for more than 28 years and thus has experience with a wide variety of products and procedures. He participated in the WG 11 interlaboratory comparison study mentioned above.
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At 3M, we don't just sell hearing protection, we're dedicated to the success of your entire hearing conservation program. 3M™ E-A-R™ and 3M™ Peltor™ Hearing Protection Products are some of the most recognized on the market.