Protect your hearing with PK Safety's broad selection of disposable ear plugs, ear muffs, and hearing bands. Proven both comfortable and effective in a variety of settings—from construction and factory work to gun ranges and home maintenance projects. If you regularly encounter loud noises, using ear protection should become a habit and part of your safety equipment.
Check the NRR, or Noise Reduction Rating, an EPA-approved method of testing the effectiveness of earplugs. The NRR indicates the number of decibels by which the ambient sound level will be reduced when the product is used. Shop top hearing protection brands like 3M, Howard Leight, PIP, Moldex, and Pyramex.
What is the most effective type of hearing protection?
The most effective type of hearing protection depends on your application. The NRR must lower the ambient sound level so that the user stays within the OSHA-recommended sound threshold of 85 decibels over an 8-hour time-weighted average. The product must also be comfortable to wear and stay firmly in place. If using earplugs, the insert should fit the exact shape of the person’s ear canal to prevent loud sounds from reaching their eardrum. With earmuffs, the protective seal should fit all the way around the person’s ear.
When determining how to prevent hearing loss, choose between reusable and disposable hearing protection equipment based on the situation. If your workers regularly encounter loud noises in the workplace, utilize reusable earplugs and earmuffs to save money in the long haul, and regularly clean each pair before and after each use. If loud noises are a rare occurrence or if you don’t want to deal with keeping track of and cleaning your hearing protection, consider single-use disposable earplugs that workers can carry on their person.
Which is better, earplugs or earmuffs?
Earplugs and earmuffs are both considered excellent choices for hearing protection. They both have noise reduction ratings ranging from 10 to 30 decibels. Choosing between the two largely comes down to personal preference and comfort level. If workers need to wear other personal protective equipment on their head or face, such as a respirator, sunglasses, or hardhat, wearing earmuffs may not be an option. Earplugs are also easier to carry around compared to earmuffs. Others prefer earmuffs because they fit over the ears instead of inside the ear canal.
What does OSHA recommend for hearing protection?
OSHA recommends using hearing protection when noise levels reach or exceed 85 decibels over an 8-hour time-weighted average. For context, 85 decibels is about as loud as a lawnmower. Employers must measure the sound level in the workplace throughout the day to see if hearing protection is needed. In work environments where noise exceeds 100 decibels on average over an eight-hour shift, workers should consider wearing double hearing protection — ear plugs underneath earmuffs.