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Choosing the correct hearing protection for your needs can be difficult; the hearing protectors should neither over nor under protect the user.
Conventional hearing protection
The noise reduction provided by conventional attenuation devices is the same regardless of the level of the noise. These are designed to provide the employee with a consistent amount of attenuation throughout the work day.
Level-Dependent hearing protection
The noise level at the ear varies according to the noise level in the working environment. This type of protector is particularly effective for:
Under The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 noise legislation employers must provide suitable hearing protection where noise exceeds 80dB(A), all EU member states should have complied with the new directive as of February 2006. Continued exposure to noise above 80dB(A) may cause permanent hearing damage.
If hearing protectors aren’t comfortable, easy to use, or they interfere excessively with the ability of workers to hear, the percentage of time that employees wear hearing protection, known as wear time, may decrease. Even the best hearing protectors aren’t as likely to be used if they aren’t convenient and compatible with the work being done and the clothing & other PPE being worn. Workers not only need to be protected from hazardous loud sounds, but they also often need to be able to hear and communicate on the job.