Hearing Protection

“Serving those who care to listen”

IMPORTANCE OF HEARING PROTECTION

Hearing loss can be a direct result of an occupation, a recreational activity or simply exposure to loud sounds. Whether hunting, serving as police officers, playing a musical instrument, or working on a factory floor, hearing clearly is a key to communication, performance and safety. Hearing protection and enhancement products are the first step in an effective hearing conservation program.

Hearing loss is a function of exposure time, the average sound level, and the peak level of very loud sounds. Exposure to excessive noise from industrial machinery, heavy construction equipment and vehicles, power tools, aircraft, gunfire, motorcycle and auto race tracks, dental drills, sporting events, fireworks, rock concerts, marching bands, and music from a player’s own instrument or nearby instruments can cause hearing loss depending on the intensity and duration of the noise. Some persons are more susceptible to hearing loss from high-level sound than others.

WHAT LOUD SOUNDS DO TO OUR EARS

The cochlea has two types of hair cells, inner and outer. The outer hair cells appear to provide the ear’s sensitivity to hear quiet sounds. Inner hair cells appear to provide all the information to the brain. It has been suggested that high-intensity noise causes extensive damage to the inner and outer hair cells; long-term lower-level noise causing the same audiometric loss may show predominately outerhair cell loss. What this implies is that the type of noise exposure may determine the severity of future communication problems.

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and temporary hearing loss can occur from a single concert, sporting event or sudden loud noise like a firecracker. In rare cases, permanent hearing loss results from such auditory insults. Even if a temporary hearing loss recovers over a period of hours to days, there is a risk that repeated exposure to loud noise will result in permanent hearing loss.

It is important that hearing protection is carefully selected for each individual, based on the intensity level, duration, and type of noise exposure.

                                                                 Allowable Weekly Sound Exposure To Be Safe

Recommended Maximum Weekly Exposure (NIOSH, 1998)

Sound level (dB) Exposure type No protection Using ER•20s
60 Conversation SAFE
80-85 Noisy restaurant
Vacuum cleaner
Average factory
40 HRS. SAFE
88 Circular saw
Loud party
Motorcycle
20 HRS. SAFE
94 Subway
Riding mower
5 HRS. SAFE
97 Live band 2.5 HRS. 40+ HRS.
100 Sporting event
Chain saw
Snowmobile
1.25 HRS. 40+ HRS.
112 Blues bar/Rock concert 5 MINS. 8 HRS.
115 Ambulance siren 2.5 MINS. 4 HRS.
Above 125 dB you are at risk for any period without maximum protection
140 Jet engine
Gun shot
Firecracker
INSTANT LOSS
soundgear-industrial

Soundgear Industrial earplugs

  • Instant fit earplugs
  • Offers sound activated compression to trigger instant and automatic noise suppression
  • Can be used by construction workers, hunters, law enforcement officers, etc.
earmuffs2

Noise blocking earmuffs

  • Extreme noise blocking and hearing protection
  • Designed with all day comfort in mind
  • Suitable for virtually all workplaces or sporting events with high levels of noise