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Industrial deafness » Deafness and earplugs

Its a well-known fact that using earplugs can help reduce hearing loss, but many people working in noise-affected environments do not know either what kind of earplugs to use in order to avoid sustaining industrial deafness or how the various products on the market differ.

From February 2006, significant changes have been taking place regarding noise at work. Under new EU noise legislation, employers in all EU Member States must provide suitable hearing protection for noise exceeding 80dB.

The different types of ear plugs available on the market have a noise reducing range of 25db to 33db. The Noise Reduction Range (NRR) is the average sound level reduction (attenuation) provided by a hearing protection device (HPD).

The NRR does not take into account loss of protection occurring when hearing protectors are not properly fitted or when they are not worn for the entire time that the wearer is exposed to noise. Read more at http://multimedia.mmm.com

Ear muffs versus ear plugs

For high-level sounds experienced on construction sites and in music stadiums, where industrial deafness in relatively common, it is normally suggested that earmuffs are used as they offer greater sound reduction.

They are also a good alternative for people who find earplugs uncomfortable or who do not like inserting plugs into their ears. Some muffs can be bought that are already mounted to hard hats and other models are lightweight so they put less pressure on your head.

Different types of earplugs

Ear plugs differ mostly by size and shape and include: smooth tapered shapes; easy to fit pod plugs, with pieces to remove the earplugs placed at the ends; banded ear plugs, connected together around the face so that they do not fall out; and metal detectable earplugs for use in the food industry, that are hygienic and readily cleanable.

Some problems that can occur with earplugs include:

  1. Improper use - for example, wearing the wrong size of earplugs or wearing earplugs inconsistently
  2. Undue reliance on earplugs without reducing noise exposure
  3. Earplugs not working as consistently as they should (failure on the part of the manufacturer).

The website EAR at www.e-a-r.com has information about a range of hearing products, from ear-muffs to earplugs, currently available on the market.

Making an industrial deafness compensation claim

Losing your hearing is no laughing matter, at any time of your life, but especially when you still have many years of working life ahead of you. Clearly hearing audible instructions, especially in the workplace, can be critical to avoiding workplace injuries.

If you are experiencing industrial deafness as a result of workplace noise or feel that your employer has not taken adequate steps to reduce noise-induced-hearing-loss, you may be eligible to make a no win, no fee claim.

Call us now on 01582 437070 to discuss your industrial deafness claim.