How Hearing Protection Equipment helps at industrial workplace?
When it comes to safety at workplaces, one thing that we often overlook is the protection of the ears. In fact, workers, who are exposed a high-degree of noise at workplaces, are not bothered about hearing protection. However, recent studies say that about 23% of workers who are exposed to noise in the line of work, experience long-term hearing difficulty.
How does noise impair hearing?
Though you may be aware of the fact that noise damages hearing, you may want to know how. Nerve endings in the inner ear die out when they are exposed to loud noise. More exposure means more dead nerve endings, which will eventually lead to permanent hearing loss.
Using hearing protection at workplace
Luckily, there are effective hearing protection products available in the market these days. Simple and affordable protective products like ear plugs and ear muffs can greatly reduce the noise pressure on workers’ ears.
Kinds of ear protection currently available:
- Ear plugs: These are inserted to block the ear canal. These may be premolded or moldable also known as foam earplugs. Both reusable and disposable ear plugs are available. Workers can also get customized ear plugs.
- Semi-insert ear plugs: These use a rigid headband to hold the earplugs in the ears.
- Ear muffs: Held together by a headband, these are soft ear cushions made of sound-attenuating material.
Now, if you are wondering which one you should go for, here is the thing. Ear plugs are easy to use and come cheap. The effectiveness of ear muffs depends on the quality of its material and tightness of its headband.
Noise protection tips for workers
Workers are also advised to follow these three simple tips to protect their hearing at workplaces.
- Avoiding loud-noise environments: Try to avoid loud-noise environment as much as possible and, of course, test your hearing a couple of times a year.
- Noise-cancelling headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones are already available in the market. Wearing these will help you escape noise at work without increasing the volume of the headphone itself.
- Quit smoking: Smoking actually starves cells of oxygen. It damages not only the cells in your heart and lungs but in your hear too.
- Don’t put foreign objects in the ear canal: When buying ear plugs, make sure you buy one that don’t go too far into the ear canal.
Hearing loss is itself a grave health issue. However, what’s even more alarming is the repercussion of hearing loss of one worker on the whole workplace. If a worker is unable to hear an alarm or a shout, it can endanger the lives of many.
Ensuring the hearing protection of workers should be a high-priority matter at every workplace. Proper use of hearing protection devices and awareness campaigns can lead to a safer and better work environment.