Safety Articles

Hearing Safety

Exposure to environmental noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss throughout the world. Every day we are flooded with transport, industrial, and recreational noises. Some have the added hazard of excessive noise in the workplace, such as a construction site or warehouse. This constant exposure wears down the delicate nerve hairs in the inner ear in the same way a toothbrush’s bristles wear down over time.

That damage is irreparable. When it comes to hearing, once it’s gone, it’s gone. So, how can we protect our hearing and preserve it, regardless of environmental noise?

What’s Damaging?

To best understand what damaging noise is, you first need to understand decibels (dB), or the way sound intensity is measured.

For the human ear, decibels range from 0 to 140. On one end, 0 dB is barely audible sound. A normal conversation hovers around 55‒65 dB. From there, we move into the higher ranges. Highway traffic results in around 75 dB, and something as simple as a hairdryer accounts for 85 dB. A lawnmower garners 95 dB, then it’s around 130 dB for jackhammers, and up to 140 dB for firearms or a jet engine. Construction sites, as you can imagine, often creep up over 100 dB on a regular basis.

So how loud is too loud? Well, if you are exposed to levels at or over 85 dB, particularly for a prolonged time or on a regular basis, you’re at a high risk of hearing loss.

Protection Options

Hearing loss can be prevented by simply wearing quality noise protection.

If you are one of the 30 million workers exposed to hazardous levels of noise on the job, hearing loss is likely already happening. While you can’t always control the noise, you can control how you protect yourself. Protective ear buds, plugs, or earmuffs that provide a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 20 or more can block out a significant percentage of damaging noise.

There are a variety of options on the market to help protect your hearing. You may also want to consider audio lines that incorporate noise control technology to offer a number of additional benefits to keep your hearing safe, such as:

● A microphone for hands-free communication

● Compatibility with smartphones

Most importantly, the device should help to protect against hearing loss, tinnitus, and the daily stress of excessive noise by dampening loud vibrations before they can damage your hearing.

Keep It Safe

We’ve all heard the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One place where that is certainly the case is with hearing protection. Don’t take your hearing for granted; keep it protected and safe for years to come.

About the Author:

Tom Buske is a leading brand management professional for ToughTested, a subsidiary of Mizco International. As vice president of Strategy and Branding, Buske leads the marketing and brand development for the rugged brand, assisting with new products, marketing initiatives, and competitor research. For more information, contact: ToughTested,

comments powered by Disqus