Hearing Protection Devices

hearing protection device

ear plugs

Hearing protection devices are used to control high level noise hazards, when engineering and administrative controls can not decrease the noise level. They may come in the form of ear plugs or ear muffs.

In order to know that you are exposed to high level noise hazards, then you should measure the noise level from the sources at your workplace. Each noise source has different nature. It could expose noise hazards in impulsive, intermittent or even continuous manner.

Besides ear plug and ear muffs, there is another hearing protection device available in the market, e.g. canal caps.

There are several factors that should be considered when we will select which hearing protection devices are suitable for our purposes.

1. Ear muffs are hearing protection devices that cover the whole part of ears including the external part. They are fitted on the head.  Ear muffs are equipped with cups which are lined with auditory foam and able to reduce noise level by 15 to 30 decibels.

To protect workers from high level noise (105 decibels or above) exposure, ear muffs are usually wear together with ear plugs.

2. Ear plugs are designed with different sizes to fit different ear canals sizes. Ear plugs are available in the form of formable or foam ear plugs. They are able to seal the ears completely because they expand when filled into the ear canals.

3. Canal caps cover the ear canal at its opening. Unfortunately, canal caps do not provide good protection on ears as ear muffs and ear plugs.

After knowing the types of hearing protection devices, then we should consider some factors before making any selection.

  1. Choose hearing protection devices that have good seal capability to avoid air entrance.
  2. Do not ignore your convenience and comport when the hearing protection device is used.
  3. In order to keep communication among workers run smoothly, select hearing protection device that is easy to be used and removed when workers need to communicate.

Maintenance

Do not forget to keep ear plug cleanliness because it directly relates with ear health. Replace dirty earplug as soon as possible and do not re-use it because of ear infection potential hazard. Read the manufacturer’s manual clearly on when we should make replacement of the ear plug.

Whenever possible prepare one ear muff for each worker and avoid using one ear muff for several workers. If it is not possible, make regular clean up schedule. Use soap and water to wash ear muffs.

Besides making regular clean up schedule, do not forget to inspect them regularly to find defects. Replace ear muffs when you find defects.

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