When is Hearing Protection Required?

November 30 Safety Equipment, Safety Products

When it comes to construction, industrial manufacturing, and other demanding applications, workers often take adequate precautions to protect their eyes, hands, and head. Unfortunately, this same level of care and attention is not always directed toward their ears and hearing. As leading providers of safety supply products, the team at EFAS Safety knows how valuable hearing protection is. That is why we have compiled some information to help workers and managers know when hearing protection is required. In most circumstances, an employee is required to wear proper hearing protection if they are exposed to noise levels above 87 decibels for extended periods. If workers need to raise their voice to be heard by an individual that is less than 3 ft away, they likely need hearing protection. In addition to knowing when hearing protection is required, there are other elements that must be considered by workers, supervisors, and operation managers.

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3 Important Questions to Ask Regarding Hearing Protection

The following questions should be asked by workers and supervisors to ensure that all concerns regarding hearing protection are sufficiently addressed:

What Types of Hearing Protection are Available?

There are three main types of hearing protection available. These include earplugs, earmuffs, and semi-insert earplugs, each with their own unique characteristics. Each type is designed to help reduce the impact of loud noises and perpetually noisy environments to reduce the risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss. Earmuffs and custom earplugs tend to be the most common choice for noisy environments due to their balance of comfort and noise reduction.

Who Pays for it?

Employers must pay for or supply sufficient hearing protection if it is deemed to be necessary. Once this protection starts to wear down, employers must pay for a replacement set of earmuffs or earplugs depending on which is being used.

What Should you Look for When Choosing Hearing Protection?

The two most important factors to consider when choosing hearing protection are the noise level of the workplace and worker comfort. Class B hearing protection will suffice for most environments, but some extremely loud workplaces will require Class A protection. Once the Class of hearing protection has been determined, the worker must choose protection that is comfortable for them as they will likely be wearing it all day. If their protection is uncomfortable, they will be far more likely to remove it throughout the day and increase the risk of hearing loss.

To learn more about hearing protection equipment or to inquire about our other safety supply products, get in touch with the team at EFAS Safety. We can be reached at 1-833-294-3327 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.