Many industries and working environments expose workers to extremely loud noises. Though this might not seem dangerous, it is. Extended exposure to such high volumes of noise could have detrimental and permanent effects on workers.

In this article, we will discuss ear protection and what type of protection you should be utilising to ensure the safety of your ears.

What is Ear Protection in PPE

Hearing is one of our main senses, allowing us to converse with one another, take instruction while working, and is essential in many industries. Unfortunately, many working environments expose us to harmful levels of noise. Ear protection has been listed as an essential PPE product in the PPE regulation (EU) 2016/425. This is due to the fact that noise is now considered to be among the irreversible health hazards within a workplace. It is therefore extremely important that workers in these hazardous environments are provided with acceptable and appropriately certified ear protection.

The Detrimental Effects of Noise Exposure

Constant exposure to hazardous levels of noise can cause a lot of damage to one’s ear. This damage cannot be reversed and is therefore permanent which is why it is important to apply as many preventative measures as possible. Some of the issues that can arise from high levels of exposure over an extended period of time include permanent tinnitus and even a partial or complete loss of hearing. This could in effect render the worker unfit to continue working within their field of expertise.

What is the Best Ear Protection?

This mask is suitable to be worn for woodworking, construction, agriculture, and any environment where dust pollen, cement, iron dust, fluoride and other forms of air pollutants are present. The mask can also be used in environments where you need protection from solid, aqueous, and non-volatile liquid aerosols. It can even handle up to ten times the respective limit values.

When searching for an ear protection solution, it is important to ensure that the product has been certified and is suited to the working environment in question. Some of the ear protection solutions provided by uvex include:

  • Disposable Earplugs: The uvex x-fit disposable earplugs provide protection and insulation up to 37 decibels. They have also been tested and meet the EN 352-2 criteria, as well as additional requirements required for signal hearing in railway track superstructure construction, signal hearing in road traffic, general warning signal hearing, and signal hearing for locomotive drivers in railway operations. They have been designed to provide the wearer with comfort. Therefore, these earplugs can be worn for long periods of time in extremely loud environments.

  • Reusable Earplugs: The uvex whisper reusable earplugs provide its wearer with protection and insulation up to 23 decibels. It has been tested and meets the standards of EN 352-2 as well as the requirements needed for signal hearing in railway track superstructure construction and general warning signal hearing. They have dirt repelling properties and can be cleaned after use, after which they can be stored in their hygiene storage box.

  • Earmuffs: uvex South Africa stocks a large range of earmuffs, each providing a different level of protection and insulation. All of the uvex earmuffs have been tested and meet the criteria needed to provide exceptional ear protection. They are very comfortable and are fairly lightweight for easy wearing over extended periods of time.

uvex takes the issue of ear protection seriously and only produces the highest quality products to ensure wearers are provided with safety. Visit the uvex South Africa hearing protection page to find out more about which ear protection product would work best for your environment and level of exposure.