Hearing Protection Products For Sale
Ear Protection - Products That Offer Hearing Protection
If you work in the construction industry, you will need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure you do not damage your hearing. Unfortunately, the risk of hearing damage due to excessive noise exposure is not just limited to those in the construction industry.
Many manufacturing, maintenance and transportation roles can have prolonged periods of excessive sound exposure. Our range of hearing protectors can help protect the hearing of yourself or your employees, ensuring that they do not need hearing aids in later life unnecessarily.
We stock many common types of hearing protection devices, from over-ear “ear defenders” to in-ear “ear plugs”. These can help your workforce protect their hearing when and where protection is required.
Where Is Hearing Protection Used?
Hearing damage is unique in that it can occur from a one-off exposure to a loud event or exposure to louder-than-average environments over a period of years. Effects can be instantaneous or show up much later in life, with symptoms ranging from tinnitus to complete deafness.
For this reason, you will find operators using hearing protection in many environments. Some of the most common places and industries you will discover Hearing related PPE are as follows;
Using power tools such as saws and drills over many years can cause later-in-life issues.
Whether explosives or a sledgehammer are being used, both can generate uncomfortable noise levels.
Milling machinery and other processing equipment can expose operators to sound levels far above what is safe.
A jet engine is often used as the benchmark for a very loud event; employees working on the tarmac apron, therefore, require high levels of protection.
Large crowds can collectively produce levels of noise that can damage the hearing of staff members exposed frequently.
Music Venues & Festivals
Security staff exposed to many concerts will need to wear hearing protection to prevent long-term hearing damage.
When working in the engine room of a large ship, workers often carry out maintenance whilst loud equipment such as pumps and air ventilators are running.
Mining & Quarrying
Equipment operators work with the constant hum of a diesel engine right behind them; they are also exposed to other equipment, such as drills, that cause excessive noise.
What Different Types Of Hearing Protectors Are There?
Several types of ear protection PPE are available on the market; each has its benefits and disadvantages. We stock all types allowing you to make an informed choice when choosing your hearing protection.
Disposable Ear Plugs
These are usually single-use and made from foam rubber or a similar material. They expand to fill the ear canal and can be an effective form of hearing protection.
- Do not interfere with the outside of the ear
- Glasses and safety spectacles will not impact their performance.
- Can be uncomfortable
- Can irritate some user's ear canals
- Are not as environmentally friendly as other solutions
- If they fall out, they are easily lost
- It can be hard to ensure they are “fitted” properly, allowing sound to leak around the plug
- You could risk an ear infection if you do not have clean hands when inserting them.
Reusable Ear Plugs
Reusable plugs often come corded together or on a band; you can wash some variants to keep them clean. They fit into the ear canal like disposable plugs to block excessive noise.
- Cheaper than ear defenders
- Do not interfere with other PPE
- It can be uncomfortable for some users
- They can irritate the ear canal if worn frequently
- They are still often disposed of similarly to disposable plugs.
- You need to ensure they are clean to avoid ear infections.
These sit over the ears and are available in various “sizes” to suit the level of protection required. They are not considered disposable, and higher quality units can be self-serviced to renew them.
- It covers the entirety of the ear, so it can help keep the ears warm.
- You can service some models to renew them.
- Still relatively cheap to purchase.
- You can purchase “helmet-mounted” variants for use with hard hats.
- Other PPE, such as glasses or safety specs, can interfere with the air-tight seal around the ear, impacting performance.
- Long Hair & hats can also interfere with the performance.
Active Ear Defenders
These are the same as standard over-ear defenders but feature an external microphone and internal speakers that allow you to hear the outside world at a safe volume. Any excessive noise is not reproduced inside the headset and is blocked by the ear defenders.
- They have all the benefits of standard over-ear defenders.
- You can listen for potential hazards around you as well as others talking.
- They are more expensive than standard ear defenders
- They have batteries that need changing.
- They weigh more than standard ear defenders.
This style of ear defender comes complete with a radio communication system integrated. It can allow workers to communicate with each other over long distances whilst also protecting your hearing.
- All of the benefits of active ear defenders.
- Ability to communicate with other workers at a distance or in a vehicle..
- Can be self-serviced to renew them
- Much more expensive
- Heavier than standard ear defenders.
- Have batteries that need charging.
Why is hearing protection important?
Hearing protection is essential; without it, you can suffer permanent damage to your hearing. If you are exposed to loud noises over a prolonged period or exceptionally loud noises as a one-off incident, you can experience symptoms including;
- Muffled hearing - where everything sounds dull and detail is lost.
- Tinnitus - where you hear a constant whistling noise above everything else.
- Complete deafness - where you can no longer hear a phone ring or listen to your favourite music.
For these reasons, you must protect your hearing wherever possible.
What level of noise requires hearing protection?
Due to the nature of hearing damage, it is not as simple as stating, “if the environment you work in is louder than “x” dBa, then you must wear hearing protection”. This is because hearing damage can be a cumulative issue, and even a relatively quiet environment can damage your hearing if you are exposed to it over a long period of time.
Similarly, a quiet environment with the possibility of a sudden and abrupt loud noise like an explosion or steel sheeting being stamped would require hearing protection.
The HSE website has excellent resources for calculating noise exposure which you can find at the following link The HSE website has excellent resources for calculating noise exposure which you can find at the following link https://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/calculator.htm.
A quick way to determine if hearing protection should be considered in your role on site;
- Is there intrusive noise - A constant sound such as a vacuum cleaner, a crowded echoing restaurant, or a busy street?
- Do you have to raise your voice to speak to someone who is 2m away from you?
- Do you use any power tools that make noise, such as hammer drills, electric saws or grinders?
- Do you work around machinery that makes a constant noise, such as large fan units, milling machines, forging or stamping machines?
- Are there any loud noises caused by hammering or concussive impacts such as drop forging, pneumatic tools, blasting, stamping, or piling where you work?
- Do you ever finish a work shift and feel that your hearing is muffled or not as sharp as usual?
If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, you should immediately see what noise control measures are surveyed and put in place.
What SNR Rating Do I Need?
Irrespective of which type of hearing protection you decide to purchase, the most important thing is that it offers adequate protection. Unusually with hearing protection, it is possible to over-protect, leaving the wearer unable to hear hazards around them, such as reversing beepers.
The aim of wearing hearing protection is to reduce the noise levels you are exposed to down to at least 85dB without going below 70dB, where overprotection and isolation can occur.
There is plenty of information about calculating the appropriate SNR rating on the HSE website here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/noise/hearingprotection.htm.
Need Assistance Finding The Right Hearing Protection For your needs?
Whether you are looking for earplugs or earmuffs, we are here to help you find the right product for your needs. We have an extensive range of PPE, including safety helmets, gloves, and eye protection. Speak to one of our friendly teams today for more assistance on 01905 794 875.