This toolbox talk will focus on hearing protection. Prolonged exposure to loud noises heightens the risk of hearing loss. When the inner ear nerves are harmed due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds, the damage becomes irreversible. The source of excessive noise can vary, whether it’s at work, at home, or during leisure activities. Power tools, recreational gear, live music, and headphones are all capable of producing harmful levels of noise.
Avoid relying on makeshift hearing protectors such as cotton or stereo headsets; they do not effectively shield your ears from noise.
Types of hearing protection:
- Earplugs: Inserted into the ear canal to block out noise; these can be disposable or reusable. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper usage.
- Earmuffs: Considered the most effective protectors, earmuffs feature cushioned plastic cups attached to a headband, covering each ear. However, they might feel bulky or uncomfortable, especially in hot weather.
- Canal Caps: These lightweight headbands with soft, flexible pads cover and seal the ear canal entrance. While comfortable, they offer the least protection against noise.
- Earmuffs and Earplugs: In some high-noise environments, using both earmuffs and earplugs in combination may be necessary for adequate protection.
When you are exposed to noise that is 85 dB(a) or greater, it is averaged over 8 hours.
How to insert earplugs:
- Firmly hold the earplug between your thumb and forefinger.
- Reach over the head and pull your ear up and out to open the ear canal with the opposite hand.
- Push the rounded tip of the earplug completely into the ear canal.
- How it should be placed in the ear canal.
Download the full Toolbox Talk document on Hearing Protection below:
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