One of the permanent and most severe workplace injuries is hearing loss. Over 17000 workers suffer from work-related deafness annually. For any company, the cost of protecting their workers’ hearing should not be an issue since most of the devices are quite inexpensive.
Hearing protection is an essential component of a worker’s safety equipment collection in Australia. Maxisafe explains that there are two main types of hearing protection: ear muffs and ear plugs. Here are some tips for choosing the right Persona Protective Equipment (PPE) for hearing protection for employees.
Ensure the PPE Meets Set Industry Standards
There exists an exhaustive list of approved hearing protection requirements for different work environments. These regulations might differ among countries and states. Ensure you comply with all the existing set standards applying to your locality when buying your ear plugs and ear muffs.
Choose the Right Decibels for Your Environment
Consider the noise level in your workplace and how much you need to filter out. Hearing PPE has a noise reduction rating (NRR) measured in decibels. Earplugs have an NRR of 22 to 33 decibels while earmuffs have a 20 to 30 NRR. There are specific formulas for calculating the decibels in your environment. Contact your PPE supplier to help you calculate the rating you need.
Consider the Replacement Rate of Your PPE
Consider how frequently you need to replace you hearing protection devices. Banded ear plugs and ear muffs, for instance, should be replaced every six months in normal wear. In humid climates and heavy use, you should replace them every 3 to 4 months. You might, however, need to replace them sooner if the earbuds aren’t pliable or the headbands overstretch.
Uncomfortable and ill-fitting hearing PPE is the chief reason for lack of employee compliance to wearing protection. The earplugs should have a tight, comfortable seal in the ear canal while ear muffs should seal tightly on the side of the wearer’s head. You can opt to custom-make the PPE so that each employee gets a perfect fit.