Posted by Administrator on 5/20/2015
If you sit in your office chair or in your home and take a moment to listen to all the sounds around you, you may be surprised at the intricate melodies you hear. Birds chirping, dogs barking, people talking, music two cubicles away, traffic outside, the tic-tac of many keyboards operating in unison, and plenty of other sounds spring forth quickly.
Without hearing protection, employees of some occupations could end up missing out on these small sounds due to hearing loss.
Additionally, OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Health Administration) sets limits on noise exposure in the workplace; limits are based on a worker's time weighted decibel average over an 8 hour day. OSHA's permissible exposure limit is 90 dBA for all workers over the course of an 8 hour day. Additionally, when the noise level is increased by 5 dBA, the amount of time a person can be exposed to a certain noise level to receive the same dose is cut in half.
Because of OSHA standards, it is common in most industries that one type of hearing protection be used at 84 decibels (db) and two types used in conjunction at 104db.
The first line of defense against loud noise is earplugs
, small (often yellow) plugs made of foam that create a seal in your ear to mitigate the effects of loud noise. There are multiple types of earplugs to choose from; memory foam options are cheap and disposable after use, fitted earplugs are more expensive but offer a better seal and more protection (up to 35 db), and personal silicon earplugs can be molded to the exact shape of your ear and kept almost indefinitely. It is recommended that most memory foam earplugs be held in the ear for 20 seconds to allow time for expansion.
The second line of defense is earmuffs
. These devices are applied over the ear in conjunction with a set of in-ear plugs to protect from hearing loss. They can also be equipped with communication systems
for added utility in excessively loud environments like construction zones. 3M offers earmuffs that protect against a range of decibel exposure up to 33db and in a variety of colors and styles.
And OBBCO can readily supply you with any of your hearing protection needs. Just call 757-420-4000.