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Workplace Noise and the Importance of Ear Protection

The importance of protecting your employees from workplace noise should never be underestimated. The same goes for choosing the right kind of ear protection, as there are different types of safety products that protect hearing from being impaired by loud environments. From comfortable and effective ear defenders to a wide range of powerful ear plugs, this quick guide has been designed to help you choose the right kind of ear protection for your workforce. 

How can hearing become impaired?

The ears are an incredible part of the body and play a key role in how it works. As well as allowing you to hear the world around you and interpret sounds, ears also improve your balance and orientation, which are as crucial to everyday life as they are to your working day.
Deep inside the ear there are tiny hairs that support your hearing. Unlike most other areas of the body that can be repaired, these hairs cannot be fixed if they become significantly damaged by loud noises. Meanwhile, the ear drum is another integral part of your hearing system – though it can sometimes be repaired through surgery, it’s of the utmost importance that you keep your workers protected against any noisy surroundings that can cause damage to their ears.


Ear protection for workers

The most effective way to prevent damage to hearing would be to remove all forms of loud noise from a workplace. However, we all know that this simply isn’t possible, which is why a variety of ear protection products are available to ensure that workers remain safe and healthy.
Ear muffs are a popular choice for all kinds of noisy work environments, such as construction sites, manufacturing facilities and transportation hubs. Designed to comfortably cover the ears and block out loud noises, they’re an affordable and practical solution for all kinds of businesses.
Ear muffs (also known as ear defenders and ear cans) are also easy to put on and can be worn around the neck when not in use. This makes them perfect for workers who require intermittent ear protection through robust and reliable PPE.
It is an employer’s responsibility to carry out a risk assessment of the noise levels as he has a legal requirement to provide ear protection were the noise level in the workplace exceeds 85dB(a)

Should I choose ear plugs?

Ear plugs are another excellent option, as they conform to the unique shape of the wearer’s ear. The two main formats they come in are those with cords and those without, both of which have their merits and are often chosen according to preference.
The benefits of ear plugs are that they provide an even greater level of protection than ear defenders due to them fitting directly into the ear canal. They’re also very lightweight and easy to carry, plus they can be easily worn alongside other PPE such as goggles and helmets. Their only downside is that uncorded ear plugs can be easy to lose, which is why corded ear plugs tend to be more popular in places such as foundries, airports and other bustling environments.


Order your ear protection today

If you’re not sure which type of ear protection to go for or want to find out more about our wide range of safety equipment and branded workwear, give our team of safety specialists a call on 01 8499 100 or email sales@safetycare.ie.

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