In environments with loud noise, individuals must prioritise the protection of their hearing. Prolonged exposure to loud noise poses the risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). To ensure the well-being of our ears, it is essential to familiarise ourselves with various types of hearing protection and determine which ones are most suitable for specific circumstances.
This guide will explore some common Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) options for hearing protection.
Why Is Hearing Protection Important?
People working in environments where loud noise is present may be exposed to hazardous sound levels, defined as a level of noise above 85 decibels (dB). Without proper protection, these sounds can cause temporary or permanent damage to our hearing. Therefore, all working in an environment with loud noise must use the best hearing protection devices.
When to Wear Hearing Protection?
Individuals should wear hearing protection when the sound is beyond a comfortable level, especially if they are exposed to loud noise for an extended period of time. (usually above eight consecutive hours). It is important to take measures as soon as possible when you detect any signs that the noise is becoming unpleasant or uncomfortable. This includes but is not limited to a ringing sensation in the ears, difficulty hearing conversations, or muffled sounds.
Different Types of Hearing Protection In South Africa
In South Africa, there are many types of hearing protection PPE devices. The best ones to use include the following:
Earplugs are inserted into the ear canal, blocking sound waves from entering. At uvex, you can find different types of hearing protection ear plugs that meet your requirement. Here they are:
- Disposable earplugs: The uvex X-fit disposable earplug is made from a soft foam material and can withstand extreme noise levels. The disposable earplugs come with or without a cord for easy handling.
- Reusable earplugs: The uvex Whisper reusable earplug works excellently in dirty and low-level noise environments. Made from a material with a smooth surface, the individual wearing it can easily clean them with soap and water.
- Banded earplugs: The uvex X-cap banded ear protection or the uvex X-fold banded earplugs provide optimal wearing comfort and are available in different colours. What makes these earplugs unique is that they reduce the transmission of annoying noises by preventing the band from rubbing against clothing.
Ear muffs are designed to cover the entire ear, providing a more secure sound barrier than that of an earplug. uvex's hearing protection category stocks nine different earmuff models, all of which have been tested and certified to meet the EN 352-3 standard. Here is a list of the different ear muffs:
In this list, you can also find the advantages of each ear muff, such as the uvex K1 earmuffs, which are lightweight for easy and comfortable wearing. The uvex K200 earmuffs are dielectric earmuffs that can be directly attached to helmets and feature safety during electrical work.
Helmet earmuffs are special earmuffs that are designed to be used with safety helmets. They provide a secure and comfortable fit thanks to their adjustable headband and excellent hearing protection due to their high number of sealing points. At uvex, there are two types of helmet earmuffs:
- uvex K10H helmet earmuffs
- uvex K20H helmet earmuffs
- uvex K1H helmet earmuffs
- uvex K2H helmet earmuffs
Each of these options provides an excellent balance of shielding from loud sounds and ensuring a comfortable, snug fit.
Get Hearing Protection In South Africa Today!
To ensure the safety and comfort of workers, employers must follow the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 (Act 85 of 1993), which includes hearing protection PPE. uvex offers different types of hearing protection products to help protect workers in South Africa from the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss.
Whether you need ear plugs, ear muffs, helmet earmuffs, or even a hearing protection belt bag for your workplace, uvex has it all. Get the right hearing protection PPE today, and stay safe!