hearing aids

peter m

New Member
Apr 10, 2019
2
0
1
57
#1
Hello,
recently I was conducting a arc flash recurrent class, and an employee with a hearing aid asked "while wearing arc flash PPE should hearing aids be worn or removed for earplugs?"
I would lean towards remove the hearing aid, but I'm not really sure what the correct answer should be. Does anybody know what the correct answer should be?
 

Hugh Hoagland

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 30, 2016
75
1
8
58
Louisville, KY
www.arcwear.com
#2
NFPA 70E does not address hearing aids directly. Most hearing aids are NOT hearing protection. Some are an exception like shooter's hearing protection but most allow sound energy to pass through and even amplify certain frequencies. Typically one would remove the hearing aids or use other proper hearing protection. This is not covered directly in NFPA 70E but the risk assessment should be done to evaluate the hazard and risk and then assess proper risk mitigation recommendations. I would look at muffs for that worker if the hearing impairment is substantial and the task or environment could introduce other hazards from not being able to hear. The hearing protection requirement is one of a few areas which require substantial discretion.
 

peter m

New Member
Apr 10, 2019
2
0
1
57
#3
NFPA 70E does not address hearing aids directly. Most hearing aids are NOT hearing protection. Some are an exception like shooter's hearing protection but most allow sound energy to pass through and even amplify certain frequencies. Typically one would remove the hearing aids or use other proper hearing protection. This is not covered directly in NFPA 70E but the risk assessment should be done to evaluate the hazard and risk and then assess proper risk mitigation recommendations. I would look at muffs for that worker if the hearing impairment is substantial and the task or environment could introduce other hazards from not being able to hear. The hearing protection requirement is one of a few areas which require substantial discretion.
Thanks Hugh