Hearing protection may be required by certain driving personnel in railway operations. Acoustic signals must however still be audible. The selection and use of hearing protectors suitable for use in railway operations (by engine drivers and engine driver/shunters) is set out in a brochure published by the German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the administrative sector (VBG) and the German Social Accident Insurance Institution of the Federal Government and for the railway services (UVB) (formerly BGI/GUV-I 5147):
The brochure particularly describes the methods for the individual hearing test. A list of hearing protectors that are suitable for use in railway operation (engine drivers and engine driver/shunters) can be downloaded here:
List of suitable hearing protectors (PDF, 220 kB) (In German. Update June 29, 2020)
The list contains products bearing the markings E1, E2 and E3. The signal audibility for engine drivers and engine driver/shunters is assured for each of the hearing protectors. Products bearing the marking E1 are highly suitable (particularly for hearing-impaired persons). Those marked E2 are suitable, and those marked E3 are suitable only with restrictions. In all cases, use of such hearing protectors is permitted only when the hearing test according to the mentioned informative document has been passed.
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