The Importance of Ear Protection In The Workplace

3 March 2023  |  Admin

The Importance of Ear Protection In The Workplace

Noise levels in the workplace

In which environments can workers potentially be more susceptible to some sort of damage to their ears? From 3 feet away, air compressors register 92 decibels. Working within 3 feet of an air compressor for less than 2 hours would cause hearing loss. Powered drills register 98 decibels, which would cause damage after 30 minutes. Powered saws can reach up to 110 decibels from 3 feet away and this could cause permanent hearing loss in under 2 minutes. A typical factory will often register at 100 decibels and that could start to cause damage in 15 minutes.

If workers are exposed to these noise levels without protection, then hearing loss is very likely. The only way to know the exact noise levels that workers are exposed to is to conduct noise monitoring using specialized equipment, though this is only required when exposures are at or above 85 decibels. Some indications that noise levels may be this high are if there are signs suggesting that employees are losing their hearing or if the noise levels make normal conversation difficult. Also consider that these conditions may not occur across the entire work site but may be limited to a specific area or piece of machinery.

How to protect yourself against hearing damage

The best way to protect yourself is to eliminate the hazard, by stopping or reducing the types of work that create these noise exposures. Realistically, though, this isn’t always possible. Some tools and machines are available that are designed to operate at lower decibels, therefore reducing the risk of hearing loss. Employers could implement administrative controls, such as placing a cap on the number of hours that an employee can work in a high decibel environment or limit the hours working with specific tools and equipment.

Our final line of protection is our PPE. Ear plugs and ear muffs can reduce the decibel exposures, providing protection against hearing loss. Ear plugs provide the greatest amount of protection as long as they are inserted correctly. Ear muffs can also reduce the decibel exposures, though not to the extent that ear plugs can. They are easier to wear correctly, though, which is why some workers prefer them.

Some high decibel exposures may be unavoidable to perform the tasks necessary for a workplace's operations, but that doesn’t mean that steps can't be taken to protect your hearing while at work.



It is essential to protect your ears on the job with some sort of ear protection. By simply wearing ear plugs or ear muffs while at work, you can protect yourself from hearing damage or tinnitus. Browse our ear protection range and find the perfect PPE for your work needs.

to view our range of ear protection workwear



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