Best Industrial Hearing Protection - Headphones, Ear Muffs and Ear Plugs to keep you Safe at Work.
Safety Hearing Protection.
Protecting your ears at work by using hearing protection, ear muffs or ear plugs is the only way of making sure that you don't become a casualty of hearing loss or having hearing problems in later life. Industrial hearing loss accounts for a great many people losing their hearing during the time they are at work. Large industrial plants, automated warehouses and factories have many areas that have machinery, automated processes or production packaging taking place. Whenever you are moving into an area with a lot of noise, signs should be in place to remind workers to put hearing protection over your ears.
In the USA and UK noise levels are governed and monitored by Governmental bodies looking after the interests of their workers. Even so, there are many thousands of smaller businesses that don't follow these rules consequentially workers are exposed to excessive noise every day at work. Good companies will put up signage stating that the noise levels in a certain area are unsafe and that safety hearing protection should be worn and that you must follow company rules on reducing the amount of noise you are exposed to, and obey the law by wearing headphones in designated areas of exposure.
Where workers, are exposed to noise levels above 80db you should wear hearing protection. But where the law is poor is it depends on how long you are going to be exposed to the noise and the law doesn't specify this. It is quite easy to say to yourself I will just do this quick adjustment in a noisey place and be out in five minutes. But if you did that regularly without protection you will be harming your ears indefinitely. For your own protection wear ear defenders, headphones, ear muffs or ear plugs on a daily basis. If your company provides them you must wear them, you will not be insured if you do not wear safety equipment which is provided. All workers should report any excessive noise areas and ask that they are monitored and have the appropriate signage in place.
In this review we will look at all the types available, all offer some degree of protection, but you need to wear the right type for your work place or situation.
Peltor H10A Optime 105 Over-the-Head Earmuff.
These are a very good pair of headphone type ear defender. You place them over your head, the strap is adjustable to make them more comfortable, making sure the ear muffs cover your ears completely.
They are designed to reduce noise level reduction from the maximum of 105db. These over the head types are very popular they will not drop off if you put your head forward, these are meant for wearing for long periods so are made with comfy ear muffs and are very low weight. This pair has been designed with a hard plastic casing with soft ear molds, with a twin cup design which minimizes resonance achieving maximum high and low attenuation. Available in Red/Black or Yellow/Black colors.
Peltor 97010 Ultimate-10 Hearing Protector
This second pair made by the same company is Peltors ultimate hearing defence. Made to wear all day long these 97010 have extra comfort ear protectors. The large cups will swivel allowing for a better fit around the ears. These have been made to the highest standards and will suit shooters or are for industrial usage.
This Peltor 97010 has very good attenuation - NRR 29dB... tested in and by a NVLAP accredited facility. They are complete with a patented twin cup design which will minimize resonance, offering maximum high and low frequency attenuation. The cups have foam filled ear cushions, additionally they have a padded headband for all day comfort. This is the hearing protection choice of law enforcement, the military and shooters all over the world.
Peltor H10B Behind-the-Head Earmuff with Neckband (Optime 105)
Some people don't like the fact the headphones fit across the top of your head, for some this makes them feel uncomfortable, so they become reluctant to wear the hearing protection provided. This Peltor H10B fits in a slightly different way in that it fits around the back of your neck. The frame isn't tight against you, the ear muffs stay closely fitted around your ears just like the others types mentioned. But this may offer a solution to someone who doesn't like the headband over their head. This pair has a definite advantage if you have to wear a hard hat while at work, with no headband your hard hat will fit as normal. Offers protection up to 105db for all day protection.
MSA Safety Works 10004293 Industrial Grade Ear Muffs.
Although this type is called industrial grade, I think this is a general purpose pair of hearing protectors. In some types of work the noise level isn't so much excessive ie above 80-85db but is like a constant whining or low level noise that is persistently there in the background. A motor running or a conveyor belt something like that but if you have to work close by it all day it is better to have some protection. If you use a chipper/ shredder or a lawn mower regularly then this is a good pair to have around. This is where this pair would be recommended.
They do possess extremely soft ear cushions to improve your comfort. They have a dialectic design for use around electrical hazards and offer a high noise reduction rating of NRR 20.
Peltor M2RX7A Alert AM/FM Radio Headset
In some industrial or social circumstances it is advisable to have a pair of headphones on that are fitted with a AM/FM radio antenna capability. The reason for this is, say you work in a large wood yard and you are near running wood cutting machinery and you are needed else where in the depot, your boss can call you directly using the headset.
Also this pair is excellent if you are on a shooting range where you are concentrating and can tune in to a local FM radio station to keep you entertained. They offer excellent noise reduction level of 24dBA. This pair would be ideal for landscapers who use diggers or other noisey equipment, shooting events where you can relay messages back to the shooter or even at racing car events or other sporting activities.
Peltor MT53H7AWS2 Headband Model Bluetooth Headset, Black.
In some industrial locations it is necessary to keep in contact at all times with your employee. One way of doing this is by using this Peltor Bluetooth headset. You can keep informed of any anomalies while your away and if needed the worker can speak directly through the microphone which is attached. There are no cables hanging around to catch, this is a very neat and sophisticated pair of headphones which are ideal in some situations where lone working is taking place and for peace of mind you would be far happier if you could keep in contact to see how the job is progressing.
This set would also be perfect when at shows or concerts where you have to keep people waiting to go on stage or perform at the theater. Ideal if you are stage managing an event with staff in different locations around the venue. Keeping in touch as never been easier with head set.
MSA Safety Works 10033236 Foldable Ear Muffs.
A lot of engineers will need access to certain high noise areas while they are at work. Carrying a set is not always practical if you have to carry additional tools or replacement parts. So this pair which easily folds up could be the solution. They easily fold up and can be kept close by in your toolbox so you have them when you have to enter a plant room or need to enter a defined area where hearing protection has been stipulated. Suitable for general noise level activities these are ideal for gardeners, building sites or factory installations where a lot of general noise activity is going on.
Additionally this pair of hearing protectors has comfy seals that fit close and snug around your ears. There is an adjustable headband to allow you get a better fit or for larger/smaller head sizes. And they have a high noise reduction rating of NRR 20 which helps protect your hearing.
In some noise situations the level of noise can vary according to what equipment is being used or run at the time you are there. In these circumstances providing the noise levels are not excessive ear plugs should be offered to your employees. They are cheap to buy, you can buy them in large packs, as advertised they are effective in the short term, are clean and hygienic as they should be disposed of every day. You could place a container next to a door where you enter a noise restricted area so anyone entering has no excuse not to wear them.
Workers who move from one section to another could easily keep a spare pair in their pockets for when they have enter a particular machine room or work on a loud packing machine for a short time. In these circumstances using ear plugs is a good way of protecting your ears. For constant noise or for repeated noise situations then it is best to have your own pair of headphones suitable for your work situation.