Gear Up and Guard Your Ears: A Guide to Workplace Hearing Protection

At Occupational Sound Solutions, we specialize in providing hearing-conservative for occupational settings. As a trained Doctor of Audiology, I see the impact of loud noises on workers’ hearing health all too often. Constant exposure to sounds exceeding 85 decibels (dBA) – can cause permanent hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and even contribute to stress and anxiety.

The good news? Hearing loss is largely preventable with the right protection. Here’s a breakdown of common hearing protectors and how to choose the best fit for your work environment:

  • Earplugs: These come in disposable foam, reusable flanged, hybrid and custom-molded varieties.
  • Earmuffs: Earmuffs completely enclose the ears. They work well for most workplaces but might feel bulky in hot environments.
  • Electronic earmuffs and Custom earplugs: These combine traditional earmuff protection with electronic features. They can amplify low-level sounds like conversations or warnings while still dampening harmful noise levels. Ideal for workers needing situational awareness.

Remember, the best hearing protection is the one you’ll wear correctly and consistently. At Occupational Sound Solutions, we conduct on-site visits to create custom hearing protection devices and fittings for the most comfortable hearing protection. Consider comfort, noise reduction needs, and work environment when making your choice.

Here are some additional tips to protect your hearing at work:

  • Request regular hearing tests to monitor your hearing health.
  • Move away from loud noise sources whenever possible.
  • Take breaks in quiet areas throughout the workday.

By taking proactive steps and using appropriate hearing protection, you can safeguard your ears and ensure a lifetime of healthy hearing.

Ask your employer if you have any questions or concerns about hearing protection or workplace noise exposure.

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