Safety Tip of the Week – Proper Hearing Protection

Proper Hearing Protection

To minimize the risk of incurring hearing loss due to noise, it is important for organizations, employers, and individuals to understand how they can better protect themselves and their employees from excessive noise in the workplace.

Disposable or reusable plugs:

Many disposable or reusable plugs are available and reduce noise by about 30-33 decibels. This is the Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) you see on the box. However, since the NRR is established in a laboratory with perfectly fitted plugs, experts recommend that the true rating is generally about 7 decibels less than indicated.

To properly fit a formable foam earplug:

  1. With clean hands, slowly roll and compress a foam earplug into a very thin cylinder.

  2. Reach around the head with one hand to pull the top of the ear slightly outward and upward while inserting an earplug into the ear canal with the other hand.

  3. After insertion, hold foam earplugs in place with a fingertip for a few moments to ensure that the plug expands in the ear canal without moving out of the ear. In a noisy environment, the reduction in perceived sound level as the plug expands should be noticeable.

  4. Have a coworker visually check the earplug. If the half or more of the earplug is sticking out of the ear canal, it not fitted correctly and won’t provide the designed protection.

Another important step to preventing hearing loss is to make a personal commitment to wear the appropriate hearing protection.

Hearing damage is permanent…but it can be prevented!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_512_Proper Hearing Protection.pdf (793.96 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_512_Proper Hearing Protection_esp.pdf (786.19 kb)

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