Workwear Off-duty Personal Protective Equipment Footwear

EN 352-1:2020

Hearing protectors – General requirements – Part 1: Earmuffs

EN 352 standards explained:

The first 3 parts of EN 352 cover the basic requirements of hearing protection and define the passive performance requirements.

To meet the EN352 standards, hearing protection is tested in the following areas (subject to product type):

  • Materials and construction
  • Sizing and adjustability
  • Cup rotation
  • Headband force
  • Cushion pressure
  • Resistance to damage when dropped
  • Change in headband force
  • Resistance to leakage
  • Ignitability
  • Minimum attenuation
  • Marking
  • Information supplied by the manufacturer

EN 352-1:2020 supersedes EN 352-1:2002.

EN 352-1:2020, the first section of the EN 352 standard, specifies requirements for construction, design, performance, marking and user information for earmuffs.

Ear-Muffs: Two ear cups that are filled with sound absorbing foam. Each cup has a soft pad that is either foam or foam and liquid filled. The ear cups are held in place with a tensioned neckband or headband.

In particular, the standard specifies requirements regarding the sound attenuation of the earmuffs, measured in accordance with EN ISO 4869-1:2018.

The Standard does not apply to earmuffs outside the size range of head sizes as defined in this Standard.

The Standard does not apply to earmuffs for attachment to head protection and/or face protection devices.

Ergonomic aspects are addressed by taking into account, within the requirements, the interaction between the user, the device and where possible the working environment in which the device is likely to be used (see Annex ZA and EN 458 in standard).

For industrial applications, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force in 2006 which reduced the starting point for ear protection from 85 dB to 80 dB. Workers must be informed and provided with training when noise levels reach 80 dB (was 85 dB) and protection should be made available. Protection must be provided by the employer when sound levels reach 85 dB or above.

SNR (Single number rating)

This is the number of potential decibels the hearing protection will reduce the noise when correctly fitted.

The objective is to select a suitable product that reduces the wearer’s noise level down to between 70 dB & 80 dB.

To reduce the noise level to below 70 dB may impair the wearer from hearing any alarm or warning sounds.

HML (relates to frequency)

H=High. M=Medium. L=Low. This relates to how the product performs

within these general frequency bands. The values of each of these

(attenuation levels) will be located on the product packaging. Note that a

SNR of 27 will not necessarily be attributable to all frequency levels – this

should be considered when selecting a product for a specific frequency.

In accordance with EN 352, all hearing protectors must be marked with:

  • Manufacturer’s name or trademark and model name
  • EN number
  • Instructions on insertion, application and wearing (as necessary)
  • Nominal size
  • CE marking
  • Indication of reusability or single use (relevant for earplugs)
  • Left or right marking (for otoplastics)

EN 352-1 Products

Personal Protective Equipment
ScanSilence L2
Personal Protective Equipment
ScanSilence ML2
Personal Protective Equipment
ScanSilence L3
Personal Protective Equipment
ScanSilence ML3