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Hearing Protection Facts

Permanent hearing loss has become the plight of hundreds of millions of industrial workers who have relied on traditional hearing protection, believing that these devices are a proper safety precaution.
Hearing protection facts

  • Once hearing loss occurs, the damage is PERMANENT.
  • Hearing damage is cumulative, over time, & IRREVERSIBLE.
  • Hearing protection must be worn without exception in a toxic noise environment. Even short and seemingly harmless breaks in use during a workday can render currently available hearing protection products INEFFECTIVE.
  • Neglecting to use hearing protection for even a short period of time amid high toxic noise can be the equivalent of not hear protection at all!
  • Number of U.S. workers exposed to toxic noise now tops 30 millionleaving NIHL (Noise-Induced Hearing Loss) as the leading occupational illness in North Americacosting companies hundreds of millions of dollars annually in compensation claims, increase in premiums and employee productivity.

Permanent hearing loss has become the plight of hundreds of millions of industrial workers who have relied on traditional hearing protection, believing that these devices are a proper safety precaution.

  • Despite the widespread use of foam plugs and conventional earmuffs since OSHA first mandated hearing protection in 1972, the Ear Professional International Corporation (EPIC) reports that there has been no change in the number of people sustaining hearing loss..
  • According to NIOSH,
    • 1 in 4 American workers will suffer hearing loss.
    • A ration that as left some 10 million noise-exposed workers in the U.S. permanently deaf.
  • The belief is that, through rigid enforcement, employees will be either muscled or scared into wearing their hearing protection and eventually get with the program.
  • Enforcement seems to have done more to aggravate the problem than improve compliance or curb the alarming spread of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in the industrial workplace.
  • The keys to successful use of hearing protection products are;
    • Comfort – product must provide continued comfort for extended use.
    • Communication – product must allow user to hear conversation and warning signals while working in toxic noise environments. This is critical to worker performance and safety.
    • Education – users must be educated on the proper use of their hearing protection devices and the dangers of not wearing their hearing protection.

These are the issues that drive workers to remove their hearing protection in dangerous situations, resulting in diminishing the effectiveness of their hearing protection and increase exposure to toxic noise.

Examples of Common Industrial Noise

NOISE SOURCES SOUND LEVEL (dB(A))
Guns 140-180 (peak)
Airports 100-150
Mining 115-120
Pneumatic Hammers 110-120
Forestry Machines 105-120
Pyaloaders 105-115
Concrete Machines 100-115
Highways 100-110
Riveting 100-110
Diesel Engines 90-120
Electric Machines 90-110
Industrial Ventilation 90-110
Chain Saws 90-110
Wood Industries 90-110
Farm Tractors 85-100
Light Tractors 85-95


Examples Common of Environmental Noise

NOISE SOURCE SOUND LEVEL (dB(A))
Normal Conversation 60-70
Busy Street, Dial Tone Phone 80-90
City Traffic Heard from Inside of car 85
Violin 84-103
Trombone 85-114
Average Walkman on 5 of 10 setting 94
Power Mower 107

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