Hearing protection devices are necessary to protect your hearing. That may seem obvious, but I’m amazed at how many people do not employ any type of hearing protection. Not only can these types of hearing protection be used in the workplace, but you often will see you will need them at sporting events, gun shooting events etc.
Pretty much anytime the decibel levels are high, you should be wearing hearing protection. Generally I like to recommend that people buy these headphones etc online. You simply aren’t going to find the big brands in local stores. One big area of concern is the actual hard protection area on the outside of the earmuffs. Choosing the best hearing protection for lawn mowing and other types of applications.
While many of the “cheaper” models use a simple plastic, you will find that the major players in the hearing protection fields use different types of composites.
That outside shell is the first layer of defense against loud decibel levels.
One thing that people do not usually understand is that it only takes a few extreme exposures for your hearing and ear drums to be damaged. Opposed to that, you can also suffer hearing loss and damage from being exposed to long periods of noise even though it’s not loud. Exposure time definitely is a factor when it comes to hearing protection.
Obviously if you have never used different types of hearing protection it is going to be hard to decide what type of hearing protection is best for your needs. This is why many people simply go to the corner store and pick up a product that just isn’t giving you the best protection.
One thing that separates headphone type protection from other forms of “earplugs” etc is that the headphone type really give you a full coverage of the ear. Not only does this stop the direct injection of noise into the ear canal, but it also reduces or eliminates the transfer of sound waves from the outer ear to the inner ear. If you are worried about adjustments, you shouldn’t be.
These earmuffs come with a variety of different adjustments that really give you some options. You may need more complex adjustments if you are going to be using these for work. You do not want to be losing your headphones when you are on a 30 foot ladder for example.
Some of the more expensive types of hearing head phones have two different straps that give you the best in stability. Many times you will find the guys who are pit crews for NASCAR and other motor sports use these.
Basically one strap goes up on top of your head and the other wraps around the back of your head. This really does prevent the headphones from slipping forward when you are working and have your head down focusing on your work.
As I really do not like to use earplugs for heavy industrial type of situations, I definitely do believe that they have their place in the workplace. These spongy type earplugs just fit inside your year canal and do not cover any part of the external ear.
Due to the fact that these have a lower NRR rating, you typically want to use these types of ear protection just for supervisors and people who aren’t going to be around noisy equipment for extended periods of time. I mean, if you are just going to be walking by a machine shop for a couple of seconds of exposure, these types of hearing protection devices should be fine. Also, these are disposable and are very cheap which makes them great for office people that may need to visit the shop once and awhile.
All in all, hearing protection, in my own opinion does not get the recognition it should. I hope that in the future more emphasis will be placed on hearing protection devices and work safety programs.