Protect Your Hearing

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Protect Your Hearing. Its a no brainer. According to the CDC, about 50% of workers are exposed to hazardous noise every day. And only about half of those workers are protecting their hearing. Between bulldozers, jackhammers and trucks backing up, noise levels on a job site can easily reach 120dB.

The CDC says that prolonged exposure to sounds over 70dB can cause hearing damage, items such as lawnmowers, blowers, and string trimmers can be louder than that. Just because you're not in the trades doesn't mean your exempt from hearing damage.

 

Some of the most frequent questions about hearing protection are:

Will it interfere with my normal hearing at the site?

Will I be able to hear warning sounds, backup beeps, or normal conversation?

 

To better explain the answers to these questions you need to know that each piece of hearing protection is given a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) in decibels (dB). This rating reduces the noise levels you hear by that decibel amount. For example, in an area of 110dB noise levels earplugs rated with an NRR of 35 will bring your exposure to 75dB.

You should still be able to hear subtle changes in your machinery, or an alarm, but you would have to take out your ear protection to have a conversation. 

Types of hearing protection include:

  • Expandable Foam Plugs - Made of a formable material that fits into a person's ear. To work properly they must be rolled thin enough to fit halfway into your ear canal. They are inexpensive, but not reusable.
  • Pre-Molded Plugs - Generally made of silicon, plastic or rubber, and come in a variety of sizes. Typically sold in pairs but you may need a different size for each ear for the best fit. Should seal the ear canal without being uncomfortable. They are inexpensive, washable, and reusable.
  • Canal Caps - Flexible tips similar to premolded plugs, fitted onto a lighweight headband. Easy to put on and take off, making them easy for short term use. They don't provide as much protection as plugs or earmuffs.
  • Earmuffs - Easy to use, and block out noise by completely covering the outer ear. They are expensive, but worth it, especially if you use hearing protection every day, they tend to be hotter and heavier than the alternatives in certain environments. Items such as heavy beards, sideburns or glasses may break the seal of the earmuffs and allow noise in.

Knowing the pros and cons of what's available is a great place to start. If you still can't decide what works best for you, contact us. Our knowledgable sales team can help you make the right decision for all your hearing protection needs.

 

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