In many worksites, including construction, manufacturing and mining sites, the presence of loud, booming noises is unavoidable. While there’s nothing you can do to eliminate noise hazards in the workplace, there are things that you can do to minimise the effects that they have on your workers, such as providing them with the appropriate hearing protection gear. Otherwise, you’d be placing their health and safety in jeopardy while they’re at work.
Exposure to loud noises in worksites and industrial areas can have negative effects on the hearing of workers, which in turn can affect their performance throughout their workday. Some of these effects can even be permanent.
Effects of exposure to loud noises include:
Stuffed ears – Sudden noises can cause the ears to feel full or clogged. Although this wouldn’t really affect the way a worker hears, the feeling of something in the ear can cause a worker to lose concentration.
Tinnitus – Loud sounds can cause tinnitus, a medical condition wherein the sufferer perceives noise in the ears even when no external sound is present. The sound can be described in many ways but commonly heard as a weak but constant ringing, a faint hissing, or a loud buzzing, among others. The sound may be heard all the time or may come and go, and can be heard in either one or both ears.
Hearing loss – Constant noises and sudden loud sounds can cause temporary or even permanent hearing loss for workers, rendering them unable to work.
Working without protection against noise hazards in the workplace is not good for workers, which is why wearing the appropriate hearing protection is important. Today, there are many kinds of hearing protection equipment that workers can use to keep noise in their worksite at bay, and the three most popular are hearing protection foam earplugs, pre-molded earplugs, and earmuffs.
Industrial earplugs made of foam are the most commonly used types of earplugs among workers in industries like construction and mining, and this can be attributed to it being inexpensive while still providing formidable protection for the ears against loud sounds. Typically made of expandable, slow-recovery material, the foam construction provides comfort and allows it to fit snugly into the ear.
Although these hearing protection earplugs are priced a bit higher than foam earplugs, they are still an inexpensive way of providing protection for the ears. Pre-molded earplugs are made of plastic, which means they can be used multiple times before they need to be disposed of. Just like foam earplugs, they can fit securely into the ear, ensuring that the ears are protected throughout the workday.
These hearing protectors block out external sounds using a pair of cups that are equipped with soft cushions. Earmuffs come with a headband that keeps both cups on the ears; some variants also have headbands that allow them to be worn over hardhats. Earmuffs can provide protection against loud sounds by themselves, although they can also be worn over earplugs for better results.
If you’re in need of hearing protection ear plugs for workers in your worksite, Hunter Industrial Supplies has a range of industrial earplugs and earmuffs that offer durability and lasting protection at very affordable prices. Visit the Hunter Industrial Supplies website to learn more about our products. You can also get in touch through our Contact Us page.