Effective March 31, 2023, the Government of Alberta implemented the following change to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code: employers are now required to ensure workers are properly fit-tested for the hearing protection they use and wear in the workplace.
There are two methods for hearing protection fit testing: qualitative and quantitative.
Qualitative hearing fit tests involve the use of a pass or fail screening to decide if an employee’s hearing protection is working effectively. This test relies on the person’s ability to detect a specific sound through hearing protection.
Quantitative hearing fit tests, on the other hand, involve the use of specialized equipment to measure the actual amount of sound that is getting through a person’s hearing protection. This test provides an accurate and objective measurement of the effectiveness of the hearing protection.
The SDI Group offers fit-testing for hearing protection that meets the updated CSA Z94.2-14 (R2019) standard per Alberta Occupational Health & Safety, Hearing Protection Devices – Performance, Selection, Care and Use. The change to the standard is intended to prevent noise-induced hearing loss. The effectiveness of hearing protection is significantly reduced if the equipment does not fit correctly or is not inserted or worn correctly.