Hearing Protection, Ear Plugs, Banded Hearing Protection and Earmuffs:
Hearing protection and ear plugs are two pieces of safety equipment that are extremely important and cannot be overlooked. Our hearing is something that more often than not we take for granted. It does not take that much noise to damage the nerve endings in the inner ear. Exposure to intense or prolonged loud noises can destroy the delicate nerve endings in your inner ear very rapidly and once damaged there is no turning back, it is permanent. This can all be prevented though with the use of proper hearing protection and ear plugs. Hearing protection is available in different forms and methods, such as earplugs, banded hearing protection, protective earmuffs and noise canceling safety equipment.
Ideally, noise source and path control would be the most effective measure in elimination of risk of hearing damage due to excessive and prolonged exposure to noise. By successfully eliminating the source of the noise you eliminate the problem. This can be done by limiting your exposure to excessive noise or loud machinery. If you cannot limit your exposure to ear damaging noise the next best thing would be to utilize the proper hearing protection and ear plugs combined with limiting your exposure to loud any ear damaging noises or machinery.
When is noise to much? If you are exposed to excessive loud prolonged noise that results in ringing in your ears, difficulties in hearing after exposure, or you are exposed to noise levels more than 85 decibels it is too much noise. OSHA requires that any employee that is exposed to noise level at or above 85 decibels wear proper hearing protection and ear plugs. If you work in landscaping you should be aware that lawnmowers emits 90 decibels and chainsaws 100 db. Machinists, mechanics, shipping yard workers and shop workers can be exposed anywhere from 90 decibels to 115 decibels easily while working.
Employers should be aware that extended exposure to loud noise not only puts the employees hearing at risk but also can make for higher agitation in a workplace as well as reducing productivity. Hearing damage can be avoided easily and cheaply. When source and path control is not possible in noise reduction personal ear safety protection is a great alternative.
Personal hearing protection comes in the form of ear plugs, banded hearing protection and protective hearing earmuffs. Earplugs are inserted into the outer ear canal and protective hearing earmuffs cover the entire ear. Earplugs are also available on an attached fitted headband referred to as banded hearing protection. There is a large variety of earplugs varying in sizes and materials used to make them to ensure anyone can find ear protection that will work for them.
In order for hearing protection to be effective it must be worn properly and instruction should be given at time of distribution. As well, an employer should check in regularly with employees to ensure the hearing protection is being worn. Hearing protection comes with a noise reduction rating and should be crossed referenced when matching protective hearing safety equipment to a particular job. Which type of hearing protection used is not only based off protection factor, but also personal choice. Protective hearing earmuffs provide greater protection against excessive noise although in some situations even protective earmuffs may not be enough and will require an employee to wear earplugs in combination with protective earmuffs. With 30 million employees exposed to excessive noise, hearing protection should be a concern of both employer and employee.
For quick answers to your questions regarding all of your Hearing Protection and Ear Plug needs, fill out our contact form or call New York Safety Equipment today at 631-563-1677 or 516-458-3563 for additional information.