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Hearing Protection 101

Safeguard Your Ears for a Sound Future




Introduction

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, protecting our hearing often takes a backseat. However, the importance of preserving this vital sense cannot be overstated. Welcome to Hearing Protection 101, your comprehensive guide to understanding, selecting, and using the right tools to safeguard your ears from potential harm.



Section 1: Understanding Hearing Health


  • The Basics of Hearing: Dive into the anatomy of the ear and how hearing works. Understanding the mechanisms behind hearing will highlight the importance of preserving this incredible sense.

  • Decibel Demystified: Learn about decibel levels and their impact on hearing. Discover common sources of noise in daily life and how prolonged exposure can lead to hearing damage. (see the chart below)





Section 2: Identifying Hearing Hazards


  • Everyday Threats: Uncover unsuspecting sources of noise in your environment, from household appliances to traffic sounds. Recognizing potential hazards is the first step towards protecting your ears.

  • Occupational Noise: Explore the impact of workplace noise on hearing health. Whether you work in construction, manufacturing, or a bustling office, understanding occupational hazards is crucial.



Section 3: Selecting The Right Hearing Protection


  • Earplugs vs. Earmuffs: Delve into the pros and cons of earplugs and earmuffs. Learn when to use each type of protection based on your environment and personal preferences.


Earmuffs

Earmuffs are generally well-suited to applications where HPD use is intermittent, as they are easy to put on and take off. Common types of earmuffs include:



Earplugs

Earplugs are a good choice for workplaces where continuous noise means that workers need to wear hearing protection for long periods of time. They are also recommended for situations where a worker needs to simultaneously wear spectacles or goggles which could compromise the fit of earmuffs. As ears differ significantly from person to person and even from ear to ear on one individual, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution. With this in mind, employers should provide at least the following four types of earplugs in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes:


 




Section 4: Proper Usage And Maintenance



Insertion Techniques: Master the art of correctly inserting earplugs and wearing earmuffs for maximum effectiveness. Small adjustments can make a significant difference in protection.



  • Disposable Roll-Down Foam (Suitable for Maximum®, Maximum Lite®, Bilsom® 300 Series, Laser Lite®, X-Treme®, Laser Trak® Detectable)

With clean hands, roll the entire

earplug into narrowest possible

crease-free cylinder.

Reach over your head with a free hand,

pull your ear up and back, and insert the

earplug well inside your ear canal.

Hold for 30 – 40 seconds, until the earplug

fully expands in your ear canal.

If properly fitted, the end of the earplugs

should not be visible to someone looking

at you from the front.



  • Reusable Pre-Molded Push-In (Suitable for Smartfit®, Quiet®, Airsoft®, Fusion®, Smartfit® Detectable, Clarity®)




While holding the stem, each a hand over your head and pull the top of your ear up and back.

Insert the earplug so all flanges are

well inside your ear canal.

If properly fitted, the tip of the earplug

stem may be visible to someone looking

at you from the front.


Caring for Your Gear: 

  • Prior to fitting, inspect earplugs or ear tips for dirt, damage, or hardness. Discard & replace immediately if compromised.

  • For proper hygiene discard disposable earplugs after use.

  • With proper maintenance reusable earplugs should be replaced every 2-4 weeks. Push in foam earplugs should be replaced every 5 days.

  • Wash with mild soap/water, pat dry or air dry, and store in a case when not in use.

  • Clean regularly and replace ear tip pods every 2-4 weeks on banded earplugs.



Headband

Folding

Neckband

Multiple Position

Helmet-Mounted











Place earcups over each ear.

Fold out the earcups as shown

Adjust the length of the headband strap between the earcups so the earmuff fits well on top of the head.

Place earcups over each ear.

Attach adapters to each side of the hard hat by sliding them into the slots.











Adjust the headband by sliding the headband up or down.

Place earcups over each ear.

Place earcups over each ear.

Adjust the headband by sliding the headband up or down

Attach each earmuff into its adapter by sliding the


earmuff housing down into the adapter.











Adjust the headband by sliding the headband up or down.


Multiple-position earmuffs can be worn either


over-the-head, behind the-head or under-the-chin.

Place the hard hat on the head and adjust the earmuffs by sliding the cups up and down.












Attach headband strap to the slot in upper part of the earcup when worn behind-the-head or under-the-chin.

Ensure that the earmuff is firmly attached by lifting the arm up and down.



Caring for Your Gear: 

HYGIENE •Clean earcups and ear cushions regularly with mild soap and water.

MAINTENANCE •Regularly inspect earcups and ear cushions for cracks and leaks – discard if earcups are visibly damaged or compromised.

REPLACEMENT •Replace ear cushions and foam inserts every 6-8 months under normal wear, every 3-4 months with heavy use or in humid/extreme climates


Section 5: Making Hearing Protection a Lifestyle

  • Advocacy and Education: Become an advocate for hearing health in your community. Share your knowledge and encourage others to prioritize their hearing.

  • Regular Checkups: Understand the importance of regular hearing checkups. Early detection of any issues allows for prompt intervention and prevention.





Conclusion

Equip yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to make hearing protection a priority. In a world filled with noise, safeguarding your ears today ensures a sound and healthy future tomorrow. Take charge of your hearing health – it's a symphony worth preserving.


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