For workers in a wide variety of industries, the amount of noise in their workplace is often at an unsafe level. As one of the most delicate senses, hearing can be damaged over time by consistent exposure to loud machinery or even the collective conversation in a large restaurant.
As such, it is important for every employee working in a noisy environment to invest in hearing protection. There are a few types of hearing protection available that also come in varying strength levels. Personal preference should be used when deciding which type is right for you. Read More(+)
Ear plugs are inserted directly into the ear canal to protect from noise. There are three main kinds: formable, custom made and generic fit. Formable plugs are typically made from foam or another pliable material that adjusts to any ear. These plugs reduce about half the noise level listed as the model's Noise Reduction Rating (NRR). Custom-made and generic fit earplugs generally are able to reduce 70 percent of the sound from the NRR.
Ear muffs are extremely common in the construction industry. There are a plethora of stylistic and strength options for this type of hearing protection, which looks like headphones and fits over the wearer's head. They are not able to reduce the noise level as potently as ear plugs, typically around 25 percent of the NRR, but many wearers find them more comfortable to wear.
It is important for anyone working in a loud environment to take frequent breaks from the noise. Breaks in a quiet area allow your ears to rest and, in workplaces where the average decibels are above a certain level, are required by OSHA.