Hearing protection should not be used as an alternative to technical and organisational control methods. But in some circumstances hearing protection needs to be issued to your staff. This might be where extra protection is needed above what has been achieved using noise control. Ear protectors, ear muffs or ear defenders might be considered as a short-term measure while other noise controls are being investigated. Make sure the hearing protectors give enough protection (at least to get below 85 dB at the ear), use your ear protectors for the noisy tasks and jobs in a working day, select a hearing protector which is suitable for the task, comfortable, hygienic, and how well they will interact hard hats, dust masks and eye protection, etc. An ear protector shouldn’t cut out too much noise that might lead to isolation or a reluctance to wear the protection when necessary. Every company needs ear protection from noise and have a targeted specific policy that encourages people to wear protection when it is needed instead of forcing staff to wear it at all times.
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