Application of active noise reduction (ANR) systems in hearing protectors requires the use of control algorithms to ensure stability of the ANR system and at the same time highly effective active noise reduction. A control algorithm based on NOTCH filters is an example of solutions that meet these criteria. Their disadvantage is operation over a narrow frequency band and a need for prior determination of frequencies to be reduced. This paper presents a solution of the ANR system for hearing protectors which is controlled with the use of modified NOTCH filters with parameters determined by a genetic algorithm. Application of a genetic algorithm allows to change the NOTCH filter reference signal frequency, and thus, adapt the filter to the reduced signal frequency.
In 2011, over 520 thousand persons worked in hazardous conditions (according to the GUS). Among hazardous factors related to working environment noise was found to be the most common one, threatening 199,6 thousand people (52.9% threats-per-persons related to working environment). The prevalence of workplace noise and increasing awareness of effects of its impact on the human body causes increase of the demand for knowledge of the methods of noise reduction. Due to the lack of knowledge concerning the proper use of hearing protectors, effective noise exposure in the real world may be about a dozen dB higher than the declared assumed protection value. For this reason, in Central Institute for Labour Protection - NRI “The interactive system for learning the correct use of hearing protectors” has been developed. The system includes a multimedia guide on hearing protectors supplemented by video tutorials, training materials with training hearing protectors, and software for evaluation of the activities of the trainee.