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Active Hearing Protection Device Provides Unique Possibilities for Hearing Research


Objectives/Scope: The objective of this research project is to study the connection between noise exposure and possible hearing damage. A key feature in the project is QUIETPRO, an active hearing protection device manufactured by Honeywell. Methods, Procedures, Process: QUIETPRO is an in-the-ear hearing protection device, HPD. It features among other things a special test routine that is activated after the earplugs have been fitted into the ear canal. Improper insertion is detected. A warning signal is given unless sufficient protection has been verified. The noise levels at the eardrum and outside the earplug are logged continuously throughout the working day. The actual noise dose the user has been exposed to is calculated in real time, and an audible alarm signal is activated if the dose exceeds a pre-set limit. QUIETPRO also features an automatic hearing test that can be activated on demand for instance before and after a working day. The test is simple and fast (typically 2 minutes duration) and it is self-administered. Data from the hearing test together with stored noise exposure data is uploaded to a database at the end of the working day. Results, Observations, Conclusions: The system has been used for some time at two Statoil offshore installations. Personnel exposed to especially high noise levels, typically 100-110 dBA and above (heli-deck crew and maintenance personnel doing sand blasting and needle picking) have been using QUIETPRO regularly. This paper will present examples of performance data and demonstrate how the exposure and audiometry data can be used to detect the onset of a hearing damage at a very early stage. Novel/Additive Information: Never before have researchers had access to exposure data and audiometry data on a detailed day-to-day basis. This unique database containing very detailed individual hearing and noise exposure data will give us an exceptional opportunity to study exposure-response relationships.


Academic chapter/article/Conference paper





  • SINTEF Digital / Connectivity Technologies and Platforms
  • Equinor




Society of Petroleum Engineers


SPE International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility, 11-13 April, 2016 Stavanger, Norway



View this publication at Cristin