Types of Hearing Protection
Most power tools and equipment used in construction operate well over the permissible level. Since it’s difficult to reduce noise levels on site, the next best choice is hearing protection. The two main types of hearing protection are muffs and plugs. They each have advantages and disadvantages but generally ear muffs provide better protection.
- Useful for intermittent noisy work as they are quick and easy to put on and take off.
- Don’t last forever. Their protection and comfort decrease over time. Muff cushions must be replaced when they lose flexibility or are damaged.
- Tension in the headband needs to be just right: too loose – they don’t give enough protection; too tight – they’re uncomfortable.
- Are light and comfortable for most users, but have to be put in properly to work right. Your hands have to be clean to insert them.
- Come in single-use or multiple-use types. Multiple-use types should be replaced often when working in contaminated environments.
Plugs and muffs should have a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) printed on the packaging. This is the reduction the protection will provide in an ideal situation.