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EN 352-2:2020

Hearing protectors – General requirements – Part 2: Earplugs

EN 352-2:2020 supersedes EN 352‑2:2002, which is withdrawn.

EN 352-2:2020, the second section of the EN 352 standards, specifies the constructional, design, performance and marking requirements for EN 352 compliant earplugs.

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

This document applies to earplugs designed for users who are able to follow supplied instructions and understand the related risks, can fit the earplugs correctly and can give feedback on the performance.

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).

EN 352-2 defines earplugs as all hearing protectors that are worn directly in the auditory canal or ear cavity.

There are three main types of earplugs (i.e. pre-moulded earplugs, individually moulded earplugs and adaptable earplugs). Pre-moulded earplugs are moulded to fit the ear canal. They are available in disposable and re-useable types and come in foam or PVC material.

According to the regulations, use of earplugs is recommended:

  • For continuous noise (lower frequencies)
  • When earmuffs tend to cause strong sweating
  • When also wearing safety spectacles
  • When wearing other protective equipment such as head protection or face protection
  • Together with earmuffs for brief periods of extreme noise

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

  • Manufacturer’s name or trademark and model name
  • EN number
  • Instruction on insertion, application and wearing (as necessary)
  • Nominal size (of formable plugs, in range 5 to 14 mm)
  • CE marking
  • Indication of reusability or single use (relevant for earplugs)
  • Left or right marking (for otoplastics)

The markings for EN 352-2 may only appear on the packaging.

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