Industrial Safety

Industrial Safety

Articles


Syndicate content

Hearing Protection

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
Bookmark and Share

Loud levels of noise, especially high pitched sounds, can lead to permanent hearing damage without some form of quality hearing protection. Many sounds, including machinery, vehicles, and construction equipment, can easily damage a person's hearing without the proper safeguards. Many foam earplugs or other industrial hearing protection can reduce the sound entering the ears by at least 10 dB, which, in many cases, is enough to offer some protection from hearing damage.

Being exposed to sounds at a level of 85 or 90 dB throughout a whole workday is enough to risk some form of hearing loss. As a point of reference, the level of city traffic heard from the inside of a car is only 85 decibels. At that level, 8 hours' exposure is enough to damage your hearing.

Power mowers produce sounds in the range of 105 dB, and power saws can easily reach 110 dB--loud enough to damage your hearing after only a half hour of exposure. In fact, for every 5-decibel raise over 90 dB, the period of safe exposure is cut in half. Therefore, for a 130-decibel sound, such as a rock concert or pneumatic drill, the recommended period of safe exposure is less than two minutes.

Types of Industrial Hearing Protection

Commonly available foam earplugs, sometimes called molded earplugs, are available at hardware stores, online safety supply shops, and through industrial equipment suppliers. Large, protective earmuffs are also available, and are a viable alternative to disposable foam earplugs. Custom-fit earplugs, which are made from a mold of your ear canal, are available from audiologists, who can also offer advice on the best kind of hearing protection for your needs.


Bookmark and Share