Individuals must put on a hearing protector if the sound or noise level at the work surpasses 85 dBA (decibels). Hearing protections decrease the sound exposure level and the threat of hearing loss.
If hearing protection is compulsory, then a hearing protection program should be applied. A hearing protection program comprises of hearing protector selection, noise assessment, employee education and training, maintenance, audiometric testing, inspection, program evaluation and record keeping.
You have to choose hearing protections that have the following characteristics:
• It should provide sufficient communication and noise needs
• It must have appropriate for the humidity and temperature at the work.
• Hearing protection must be comfortable to be worn and accepted.
• It must be well-matched with other necessary personal communication devices or protective equipment.
• It must be correct for the job.
• It should provide sufficient safety; see the manufacturer's instructions for this.
Types of hearing protectors available
These are inserted in the ear canal. They may be moldable (foam ear plugs). Reusable, disposable, or custom molded ear plugs are easily available.
Semi-insert ear plugs:
It comprises of two ear plugs detained above the ends of the ear canal by a firm headband.
These consist of sound reducing stuff and soft ear pads that fix around the hard outer cups and ear. They’re attached together by a head band.
Some other types are:
• Helmet mounted earmuffs
• Custom moulded earplugs
• Dual protection
• Sound restoration protectors
• Communication protectors
• Flat response protectors
• Active noise cancellation
How can hearing protection be used effectively?
• Ensure the protectors give sufficient protection – go for at least below 85 dB.
• Provide a variety of protectors so that staff can select ones which suit them.
• Consider how hygienic and comfortable they're.
• Choose protectors which are right for the working environment.
• Consider how they’ll be worn with other protective equipment like dust masks hard hats, and eye protection.
• Encourage people to wear it when they don't need to.
• make the use of hearing protectors obligatory where the law does not require it;
• Make available those protectors which diminish too much noise - this lead to an unwillingness to wear them, or it can result in isolation.
Tips for selecting the appropriate Hearing Protector
1. Identify your required Noise Reduction
Apparently, the first thought in selecting a hearing protection is whether it will avoid sufficient sound to decrease your noise contact to a not dangerous level. The good news is that many industrial sound exposures are fewer than 95 dBA, which indicates that most employees need no more than about 10 dB of sound reduction to meet the NIOSH Mentioned Exposure of 85 dBA maximum.
2. Consider Your Worksite and Job Tasks
Workplace features above sound levels also want to be measured in selecting the right hearing protection. For instance, do you need to wear a firm hat, eye protection, or a respirator? Some eyeglasses can obstruct with the seal of an ear plug around the ear, letting sound to escape into the ear.
3. Choose Most Convenient and Comfortable After you have narrowed your selection down to hearing protections that are suitable for your sound exposure and well-matched with your job tasks, the choice is entirely yours. On the other hand, hearing protection simply works if you wear it consistently and properly whenever you are open to dangerous sound, so select a protector that is convenient and comfortable.
Hearing protection maintenance
You'll need to ensure that hearing protection works efficiently and check that:
• Compressible earmuffs are pliable, clean and soft.
• Earplugs seals are not broken.
• It stays in clean and good condition.
• The tightness of headbands is not reduced.
• There are no unauthorized changes.