The Benefits of Using The Best Ear Protection
Note: If you have or use hearing protection, please contact EHS if your area has not had a noise survey by EHS.
Hearing protectors are required to prevent noise induced hearing loss. Hearing protection devices reduce the noise energy reaching and causing damage to the inner ear. Ear muffs and earplugs are the most common types of PPE.
Hearing Protection Use
PPE for hearing protection is required for employees who are exposed to noise levels equal to or greater than 85 decibels averaged over an eight-hour period.
General Stores stocks a selection of hearing protectors, which can be obtained with a safety requisition form.
Hearing Protection Standard
When employees are exposed to noise levels over 85 dBA/TWA, the standard requires that a Hearing Conservation Program be implemented. Required elements are:
1. Noise evaluations.
2. Selection of hearing protection.
3. Initial training.
4. Annual refresher training.
Any sound over 85 decibels has the potential to be harmful to hearing health and can lead to the development of a condition known as noise-induced hearing loss. Ear protectors are by far the best way to protect against this concern, preventing dangerous levels of sound from reaching the delicate inner ear. You may have seen these generic, mass-produced protectors in several different types of stores.
While these store-available types of ear protection are undoubtedly preferable to no ear protection at all, they have significant limitations and downsides that makes them far from the ideal solution. Custom-designed ear protection from an audiologist is by far the preferable choice and offers all the following benefits to users.
Non-customized ear protection is designed to be sold to a huge number of people, so items are designed along one size fits all lines. However, it is impossible to create true one size fits all ear protection; ear size differs greatly between individuals, so it’s no more possible to create a single-size ear protector than it is to create a single-size shoe. As a result of the single-size approach non-customized ear protectors take, these products can be uncomfortable to wear for many people. In contrast, custom ear protection is designed along the principles of one size fits one, which is far more precise, and thus ensures an excellent fit every time.
Greater protection from harmful levels of noise
The precise fit of custom ear protection is not just conducive to higher comfort levels; it also ensures the best possible protection against harmful sound. With custom protectors, the fit is exact, so there’s no risk of gaps or an awkward fit allowing unwanted sound to slip through and reach the inner ear. All potentially dangerous sound is therefore completely prevented, which helps to ensure your hearing remains as protected as it can possibly be.
Non-customized hearing protectors are usually cheaply made, using poor, low-quality materials, which can significantly impact their durability and robustness. Custom ear protectors, however, are designed with longevity in mind; only the very best materials are used, and the build quality is excellent, so the durability of the finished product is excellent. This durability not only leads to a more reliable product, but also guarantees that customized ear protection will be more cost-effective in the long run as there is no need for continual replacement.
Better ear health
Ear infections can be a real problem when it comes to non-customized ear protection. This issue is attributable to the materials that are used in this type of protector; the lower the quality, the more chance there is that bacteria will flourish on the surface. This issue is entirely non-existent with custom hearing protectors, as bacteria prevention is included in the manufacturing process of each product, so ear infections need not be an issue.
As the above benefits demonstrates, visiting an audiologist for customized ear protection is by far the best choice for anyone who is seeking to preserve their hearing health for the future.