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When you need to protect your hearing, or the hearing of your workers, then earplugs are good for preventing temporary or permanent hearing damage caused by high frequency or loud noises. It’s essential that whichever hearing protection you choose, that it is suitable for the risks you’re protecting against, as well as the person wearing them.

With disposable and reusable earplugs available, there are also earplugs designed for use in the food industry, as well as those which are connected with a cord to prevent losing one of a pair.

How To Choose The Right Level Of Protection

First of all, you need to know the exposure levels of the working environment. This is something which you may need to carry out a risk assessment for, or including as part of the manufacturer’s guidelines for machinery or tools.

What you need to look for is the SNR value, and this represents how many decibels the earplugs reduce sound levels by which worn correctly.

Between 70 and 80 decibels is deemed to be a safe exposure level as it means you should still be able to hear important noises such as the fire alarm.

For example, an average sound level of 113 decibels would require ear muffs with at least an SNR value 34, in order to bring the in-ear exposure level down to 79dB.

How To Correctly Insert An Ear Plug

These are easy to insert. You simply roll each earplug between your thumb and finger, reach over your head to lift your ear, and then insert the plug in the ear canal. By holding the plug in place for a few moments, the foam will then expand to provide a snug and secure fit.