Human ears are fragile, and many workers spend time around loud noises, which can cause hearing damage. Many of us take our hearing for granted, but it’s a sense that needs to be protected. Anybody who works in a noisy environment is likely to wear ear protection as part of their uniform. But, it is often seen as an inconvenience and, sometimes, workers don’t wear the protection as much as they should! This could cause irreversible damage; just because ear defenders can get in the way doesn’t mean you should go without. Why is it a vital part of workwear? Let’s discuss this in more detail below.
It’s Always Worthwhile To Use Ear Protection!
It’s always better to be safe than sorry; ear protection is no exception. If you are exposed to any form of loud noises in your workday, it’s always sensible to wear ear protectors. You can never be sure whether the environment affects your ears or not, but wearing the protection ensures any damage is avoided. Ear protection is not always a legal requirement, but investing in your health is always worth it.
What Level Of Noise Causes Hearing Damage?
Some people’s ears are more sensitive than others; age is also a factor. There have been studies into the damage caused by noise. Here are some of the findings.
Fifteen minutes of music at 100cB can cause hearing damage. When the noise level rises to 110-120dB, damage can be caused in even less time! An aircraft taking off averages around 130dB, so imagine the damage that the noise could cause if you’re a groundworker at an airport? Also, power tools often reach 100dB and can cause damage due to prolonged exposure! Ear protection is a sensible option for anybody dealing with power tools.
What Different Forms Of Ear Protection Are Available?
Depending on the industry you work in, there are different forms of ear protection suitable. Ear defenders cover the whole ear and look similar to chunky headphones. They provide a level of protection that suits very noisy industries, like construction work.
For something more discreet, you can use earplugs. They’re not suitable for high noise levels; they’re more suited for workplaces where noise can be irritating but not particularly damaging. Over-ear defenders are the most comfortable to wear, and earplugs can sometimes fall out and become sore.
Another option is helmet-mounted ear defenders, the perfect choice for workers who wear a hard hat! Standard ear defenders will not fit over a helmet, but they’re both essential pieces of equipment for many workers. This solution combines the two!
Which Industries Require Ear Protection?
Roles that include working in a noisy environment or with loud equipment require ear protection. Any workplace with an average daily or weekly volume of 85dB or above has a legal requirement to protect the hearing of its staff. Risk assessments and training for employees about the dangers of loud noise is a legal requirement at an average of 80dB.
Here are some industries where workers should use ear protection:
● Ground control at airports
● Nightclub and concert work
● Any form of construction
● Tree surgery and forestry
● Motorsport maintenance and driving
● Military tank driving
● Farming with machinery
● Factory working
● Lawn mowing
Always Use High-Quality Ear Protection
So, as mentioned, ear protection is a crucial part of uniform in any work environment with an average volume of 80dB or more. Employers need to determine which form is best suited; ear plus, helmet-mounted, or standard ear defenders. This step protects the health of staff!
Take a look at Cobra Workwear; they stock a range of ear protection suitable for various industries. Contact them today if you have any questions about protecting your staff’s hearing. They also stock a vast range of workwear, all available with bespoke embroidery to fit your company branding! Time to take your employee’s health & safety seriously.