The hearing hazard depends upon both the level of the noise as well as to the duration of the exposure. The safest thing to do is to ensure that workers are always protected with hearing protectors every time they are around loud noise. Check with experts advise to select an appropriate hearing protector, in regards to decibel in respect to surrounding noise.
Ear plugs are inserted to block the ear canal. They may be pre molded (preformed) or moldable (foam ear plugs). Ear plugs are disposable products or reusable plugs. Custom molded ear plugs are also available.
Semi-insert ear plugs which consist of two ear plugs held over the ends of the ear canal by a rigid headband.
Ear muffs consist of sound-attenuating material and soft ear cushions that fit around the ear and hard outer cups. They are held together by a head band.
Manufacturers provide information about the noise reducing capability of a hearing protector as an NRR (noise reduction rating) or SNR (single number rating) number. The NRR is a method which attempts to describe a hearing protector based on how much the overall noise level is reduced by the hearing protector. The SNR is the system within the European Union to indicate the amount of protection offered by a correctly fitted hearing protection device. An expects advise should always to be recommended in selection.
Ear plugs can be reusable or disposable, they are simple to use, less expensive than muffs, and more comfortable in hot or damp work areas. It could be used for longer period. Ear plugs are much smaller and can be easily accommodated with other safety gears.
Ear muffs are easier to fit, generally more durable than plugs, and they have replaceable parts. They can be used for shorter period. These are more expensive, and often less comfortable than plugs, especially in hot work areas.
In order to get full benefit, hearing protectors must be worn all the time during noisy work. If hearing protectors are removed only for a short duration, the protection is substantially reduced.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Most of the earplugs are disposable and should be dispersed after once used. Reusable earplugs should be checked regularly for wear and tear. It could be washed with mild soap water. In case of Ear muff, the ear cushions should be checked for its pliability. Replace a unit when head bands are so stretched that they do not keep ear cushions snugly against the head. The structure of ear muffs should be cleaned.