Choosing the appropriate type of earplugs is an important part of effective hearing protection in the workplace.
Earplugs that offer too much hearing protection are just as harmful as earplugs that offer too little protection, according to Howard Leight, the world leader in hearing protection equipment.
And with many workers compromising their hearing protection in order to hear their co-workers, warning signals and machinery noises better, it is important to select an earplug that won’t overprotect in mild or moderate noise levels.
Roll-down foam earplugs, such as the Laser Lite (pictured) or the 300 Series will only provide adequate protection when they are rolled and inserted into the ear properly.
Using clean hands, they should be rolled down into a small crease-free cylinder, and inserted into the ear canal.
Insertion of earplugs is much easier and effective if the outer ear is pulled outward and upward to straighten the ear canal.
Once the earplug has been properly inserted, hold the earplug in position for 30-60 sec while the foam expands and holds the earplug in place.
A practical alternative to roll down foam models, new hybrid push-in style earplugs such as the Pilot (pictured) feature a moulded “navigation” stem which glides the earplug into the ear canal for a quick, snug and comfortable fit.
Workers should remember to always check if their earplugs are either roll-down or push-in types, and should always read instructions on the packaging before insertion.
There is no one size fits all earplug. This is why Howard Leight by Sperian manufactures an extensive range of in-ear hearing protection and can advise on how to make a suitable selection for any application.
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